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Amoebic infections 

Amoebic infections
Chapter:
Amoebic infections
Author(s):

Richard Knight

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0159
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date: 05 March 2021

Two very different groups of amoebic species infect humans. (1) Obligate anaerobic gut parasites, including the major pathogen Entamoeba histolytica, which causes amoebic dysentery and amoebic liver abscess. Infection is especially common in Mexico, South America, Africa and South-east Asia; nearly all cases in temperate countries is acquired elsewhere. Other gut amoebae are Dientamoeba fragilis (which causes relatively mild colonic involvement with diarrhoea), and eight non-pathogenic species including Entamoeba dispar. (2) Aerobic free-living, water and soil amoebae– Naegleria, Acanthamoeba and Balmuthua, which can become facultative tissue parasites in humans after cysts or trophozoites are inhaled, ingested, or enter damaged skin, cornea or mucosae: they may cause primary amoebic meningo-encephalitis, amoebic keratitis or brain abscess.

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