Amebiasis is a parasitic infection of the intestine caused by the Entamoebae histolytica parasite or abbreviated E. histolytica. Entamoeba is a composite of several single parasites that are textured like jelly and can live inside or surface of human and animal skin. Just like single-celled microorganisms in general, entamoeba moves by altering its body structure and can multiply by itself.
Overall, there are 6 types of entamoeba , but only E.histolytica parasites can make a person sick. This parasite is common in moist, watery and muddy environments. Anyone at risk of amebiasis infection. But this risk is higher in people living or visiting tropical climates or areas with poor sanitation. In addition, a person who has low immunity and men who have same sex are also at risk of contracting the disease.
Causes of Amebiasis
Amebiasis infection occurs when the E. histolytica parasite enters the human body and settles in the intestine. These parasites are generally transmitted through contaminated food and drink. In addition, a person can also be infected after touching the ground, water, fertilizer or hands of others who have been exposed to stool containing the parasite. Transmission can also occur in people who have anal sex, oral sex, or in people who do colonic irrigation or colonic irrigation therapy.
In general, E. histolytica parasites are inactive parasites that can stay for months in damp areas or areas that have been contaminated with infected feces. The parasites entering the human body will instantly gather in the intestine and move on to their active cycle (tropozoit phase). The active parasites will then move to the large intestine. When the parasite about the part of the intestinal wall, the sufferer can experience problems such as feces accompanied by blood, diarrhea, colitis (colitis), to damage to the intestinal tissue.
Someone who has been infected is at risk of severe amebiasis infection if:
- Often consume alcohol.
- Experiencing malnutrition .
- Have cancer.
- Is pregnant.
- Using corticosteroid drugs that can suppress the body's immune system.
- Often travels to a tropical country or an infected environment.
What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer?
What Is Brain Abscess?
What Is Dental Abscess?
Symptoms of Amebiasis
Symptoms of amebiasis generally begin to feel a person within 7-28 days after parasite infection. Keep in mind also that not all patients will experience the symptoms, and most people will only experience symptoms that are quite mild, such as:
- Diarrhea .
- Pain to abdominal cramps.
- Discard excessive wind.
- Easy to feel tired.
In certain cases, the parasite can penetrate the mucosa of the intestinal wall and cause injury, or it actually spreads to the liver through the blood vessels and causes liver abscess. The symptoms that can be felt when it entered severe conditions like this are:
- The pain when the stomach is pressed.
- Dysentery or diarrhea with feces mixed with mucus and blood.
- High fever.
- Throws up.
- Swelling in the abdomen or liver.
- Bowel perforation or the appearance of a hole in the intestine.
- Jaundice (jaundice) .
Diagnosis of Amebiasis
In conducting the diagnosis of amebiasis, the physician will perform a series of physical examinations and inquire into the activities of previous patients, including the locations visited. In addition, further tests will also be conducted to strengthen the diagnosis, such as:
- Laboratory examination. The patient's stool sample will be examined in the laboratory to find the presence of a histolytica parasite. Sampling for this inspection is ideally done several times on different days.
- Blood test. This method is recommended suspected parasite histolytica exist in the intestinal wall or other body organs. This test can also be performed to check for related conditions, such as anemia.
- Colonoscopy . The doctor will evaluate the condition of the colon (colon) and the number of parasites present by using a special tool such as a thin hose equipped with a camera. If necessary, a liver biopsy (sampling of liver tissue for laboratory testing) can be performed at once in this procedure.
- Scans, such as CT scan or ultrasound, to check if there is inflammation in certain organs.
- Needle test. This test is usually done when there is a buildup of pus (abscess) on the liver.
Treatment of Amebiasis
In general, the medications given for amebiasis are:
- Antibiotic drugs, such as metronidazole or tinidazole , to kill bacteria present in the liver or other organs. These medications are commonly given along with antiparasit, such as diloxanide furoate.
- An antimual drug for patients with symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Amebiasis patients will usually be advised to consume plenty of water and oralit to replace lost fluids. If the condition is severe enough, the doctor will provide intravenous fluids in the hospital.
In certain cases, surgery will be performed in case of ruptured liver abscess or if there is a hole in the intestine.
Complications of Amebiasis
Here are some potential complications that may occur in untreated or in severe conditions such as:
- Anemia or intestinal bleeding in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Obstacles in the intestine due to tissue clumps on the intestinal wall.
- The formation of an abscess in the liver after years of parasitic histolytica.
- Infection of infected organs, including the brain and central nervous system.
Prevention of Amebiasis
The following steps can be taken to prevent transmission of amebiasis infection:
- Wash your hands with liquid soap after urinating or defecating. This also needs to be done after changing the baby's diaper and before processing the food.
- Wash vegetables or fruit until clean before consumption.
- Wash cookware until clean before use.
- Boil water until boiling before drinking.
- Do not consume milk or its dairy products, such as cheese, without cooking or pasteurized first.
- Avoid eating foods or drinks that are not guaranteed cleanliness, such as food sold on the roadside.
- Do not share bathing appliances, such as towels or sponges, with anyone.