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2 min read

Amoebiasis: causes and treatment

Medical reviewer:Dr Ann Nainan
Author:Dr Lauretta Ihonor
Last reviewed: 01/12/2020
Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

Amoebiasis is a gut infection by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica, which is typically found in tropical countries.

Amoebiasis doesn’t always cause any symptoms, but when it does, they include:

  • diarrhoea
  • blood in you poo
  • tummy pain
  • fever
  • weight loss

You can get amoebiasis if you come into contact with the poo of someone with the infection. This can happen:

  • if you eat or drink something has been in contact with infected poo
  • if you touch something that has been in contact with infected poo e.g. a toilet handle or surface touched by someone who didn’t wash their hands properly after using the toilet

It’s also possible to get amoebiasis by having sex, especially oral-anal sex.

How is amoebiasis diagnosed?

Your doctor may suspect amoebiasis based on your symptoms, travel activities and an examination of your tummy. They may also send a sample of your poo to be tested for the infection.

What’s the treatment for amoebiasis?

The treatment for amoebiasis usually depends on your symptoms, but it can include

antibiotics to treat the infection.

Speak to a doctor for more information on what to do if you think you have amoebiasis.

References

  1. Amoebiasis - Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment | BMJ Best Practice [Internet]. Bestpractice.bmj.com. 2020 [cited 3 December 2020]. Available here.
  2. UpToDate [Internet]. Uptodate.com. 2020 [cited 3 December 2020]. Available here.
  3. [Internet]. Dynamed.com. 2020 [cited 3 December 2020]. Available here.
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