What is amebiasis?

Updated: Jul 19, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Amebiasis is caused by Entamoeba histolytica (see the image below), a protozoan that is found worldwide (see Etiology). [1, 2, 3, 4] The highest prevalence of amebiasis is in developing countries where barriers between human feces and food and water supplies are inadequate (see Epidemiology).

Trichrome stain of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoi Trichrome stain of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites in amebiasis. Two diagnostic characteristics are observed. Two trophozoites have ingested erythrocytes, and all 3 have nuclei with small, centrally located karyosomes.

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