Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan, which is a unicellular eukaryotic organism.
Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan that causes the disease amebiasis. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea or a liver abscess.
Cysts are capable of surviving outside the host in water, soil and foods for several months. The disease is contracted when cysts are ingested in contaminated food or water.
Inside the digestive tract, Entamoeba trophozoites are capable of invading the intestinal wall and can cause severe bloody diarrhea.
When these protozoa invade the intestinal wall, they create characteristic flask-shaped ulcers that can help with diagnosis.
After invasions of the intestinal wall, Entamoeba can enter the bloodstream and reach different organs, including the liver. A common outcome of this invasion is a liver abscess.
Liver abscesses caused by Entamoeba histolytica have a characteristic appearance that resembles anchovy paste.
Entamoeba histolytica can cause severe right upper quadrant abdominal pain due to invasion of the intestinal wall and formation of a liver abscess.
The trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica have a characteristic appearance due to ingestion of red blood cells in the cell cytoplasm. Visualization of trophozoites with red blood cells can help diagnose amebiasis.
The cyst form has a characteristic appearance with four nuclei, which can help with identification of the organism.
Treatment for amebiasis includes metronidazole, which alters oxidative patterns within the protozoa, resulting in death.
Iodoquinol is a quinoline derivative that can be used in the treatment of amebiasis. This drug is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and remains in the intestinal lumen, where it acts by chelating ferrous ions essential for protozoan metabolism.
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