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: August 17, 2020

Amoebiasis, also known as 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 the 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 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 the ulcer
  • Peritonitis without perforation of the ulcer
  • Perforation into retroperitoneal tissues
  • Perforation with the formation of a fistula
  • Perforation of the diaphragm  to the 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 the diaphragm to the pericardium and pleural cavity, subdiaphragmatic abscess, perforation to the abdominal cavity (amoebic peritonitis), and perforation of skin (amoebiasis cutis) are the complications of hepatic amoebiasis.

Pulmonary amoebiasis can occur from hepatic lesion by hematogenous spread and also by perforation of the pleural cavity and lung. It can cause pulmono pleural fistula, lung abscess, empyema lung, and bronchopleural 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 the intestinal lesion and can cause amoebic vulvovaginitis, rectovesical fistula, and rectovaginal fistula.
Entamoeba histolytica infection occurs from the 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, the 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 the 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 handle at least once a day with hot water and detergent.
  • Avoid contact with other people as far as possible if you have amoebiasis. 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 is necessary for the prevention of E. histolytica infection.


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