Introduction : Amoebiasis is the condition of harbouring the protozoa endameba histolytica, with or without clinical manifestation. The symptomatic group is divided into intestinal and extrainstestinal amoebiasis. Intestinal disease varies from mild abdominal discomfort and diarrhea to acute fulminating dysentery. Extra intestinal manifestations include involvement of liver, lung, brain, spleen, skin etc. Amoebiasis is potentially lethal disease.
Agent : Pathogenic strains of E.histolytica. It exists in 2 forms –
Reservoir of infection : Man is the only reservoir of infection. The immediate source of infection with E.histolytica remains the faeces containing the cyst.
Period of communicability : As long as cyst are excreted, the period may be several years, if cases are undiagnosed and untreated.
Amoebiasis may occur at any age. It is frequently a household infection. When the individual in a family is infected, others may also be affected. Specific anti-amoebic antibody are produced when tissue invasion takes place.
Amoebiasis is closely related to poor sanitation and socio-economic status than to climate. The use of dung for agricultural purposes favours the spread of the disease. In countries with marked wet weather, the infection rates are higher during rain. Presumably, some cyst may survive longer. Epidemic outbreaks are associated with seepage of parasite into water supply.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION
2-4 weeks or longer