Complications and Prevention of Amoebiasis

Amoebiasis, also known amoebic dysentery, is a condition in which your intestines becomes infected with the parasite Entamoeba histolytica or E. histolytica. E. histolytica infections occur in both the intestine and in tissue of the intest

Updated: September 17, 2017

Amoebiasis, also known amoebic dysentery, is a condition in which your intestines becomes infected with the parasite Entamoeba histolytica or E. histolytica. E. histolytica infections occur in both the intestine and  in tissue of the intestine and liver.

Complications of Amoebiasis:

In most of the cases, amoebas remain in the gastrointestinal tract of the patient. In some cases the the parasite enters the soft tissues, most commonly the liver.
In general the complications of amoebiasis include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Pericolic and pericaecal abscess

Other complications include:

  • Very extensive ulceration of the colon
  • Peritonitis with perforation of ulcer
  • Peritonitis without perforation of ulcer
  • Perforation into retroperitoneal tissues
  • Perforation with formation of fistula
  • Perforation of the diaphragm  to pericardium and pleural cavity
  • Acute or chronic pleurisy
  • Amebic abscess of the liver
  • Amebic abscess of the lung
  • Amebic abscess of the brain

Perforation of diaphragm to pericardium and pleural cavity, subdiaphragmatic abscess, perforation to abdominal cavital (amoebic peritonitis) and perforation of skin (amoebiasis cutis) are the complications of hepatic amoebiasis.

Pulmonary amoebiasis can occur from hepatic lesion by haemotagenous spread and also by perforation of pleural cavity and lung. It can cause pulmono pleural fistula, lung abscess, empyema lung and broncho pleural fistula. It can also reach the brain through blood vessels and cause amoebic brain abscess and amoebic meningoencephalitis.

Cutaneous amoebiasis can also occur in skin around sites of colostomy wound, perianal region, region overlying visceral lesion and at the site of drainage of liver abscess.
Urogenital tract amoebiasis occurs from intestinal lesion and can cause amoebic vulvovaginitis , rectovesicle fistula and rectovaginal fistula.
Entamoeba histolytica infection occurs from stunting of growth and malnutrition.

Prevention of Amoebiasis:

To prevent the spread of many infections to others and to reduce your chance of picking up infections from others, practice of good hygiene is essential.

  • Always wash your hands and dry them thoroughly
  • Before eating.
  • After going to the toilet
  • After changing nappies
  • Before preparing or touching food or drinks.

Amoebiasis is often spread  by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food. So while traveling you should avoid eating or drinking outside food to help reduce your chance of getting amoebiasis. You should avoid

  • Unpacked fruit juice
  • Tap water
  • Ice cubes
  • Ice cream
  • Salads
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Peeled fruits

If you have amoebiasis, you should take care of following things to prevent the spread of amoebiasis to others.

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap or hand wash in hot running water after using the toilet or changing a baby's diaper, and before handling food.
  • Dry your hands properly after washing.
  • Avoid sharing towels or face washers.
  • Don't prepare or serve food for others.
  • Regularly clean the toilets with disinfectant.
  • Wipe the flush handle, toilet seat, bathroom taps, surfaces and door handles at least once a day with hot water and detergent.
  • Avoid contact with other people as far as possible if you have amoebasis. Take off from your regular routine work and office.
  • Boil water or treat with iodine tablets.
  • E.histolytica cysts are usually resistant to chlorination, therefore to reduce the incidence of infection sedimentation and filtration of water supplies are necessary.
  • Sewage disposal or treatment are necessary for the prevention of E. histolytica infection.


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