Amebic Infections or known as Amebiasis is a deseas caused by a certain organism known as Endamoeba histolytica. It effects mainly the colon, but may also extend to the liver and other organs. Amebic dysentery is the term applied to sever cases in which there is diarrhea with blood and mucus in the stools. The disease usually occurs in epidemics due to watter supplies being contaminated with infected sewage.
Amebiasis in microscopic
The parasite passes through two phases, the active or trophozoite phasem and the cyst. Active parasite are responsible for changes in the tissue and organs. Later these changes into the cyst form, and these largely responsible for the transformation of the disease.
Unlike many other intestinal parasites, amepics, but are found in every country in the world. However, they are more prevalent in the warm areas, especially where sanitation is poor. In areas devoid of proper sanitary facilities, more than half the population may have this disease.
Infection usually occurs because the water supply is contaminated with human sewage containing amebic cyst. Various foods may be contaminated by being fertilized with human sewage, or by flies exposed to the infection or by careless food handler who have the disease. Children may infect themselves by playing in soil contaminated with amebic cyst.
In severely infected cases, patient complain of abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and bloody mucoid stools, similar to that seen in other forms of dysentery. Milder infections may have only rather vague symptoms, such as gastrointestinal disturbances with occasional, slight loose, watery stool and some distention of the abdomen. Vomiting is not common and abdominal pain maybe mild. Some people are “carriers” in that although not suffering very much from the condition themselves, they constitute a source of infection to others. A fewer patients notice undue fatigue, fever, vague aching in the muscle, backache, arthritis, nervousness, irritability, and even dizziness at times. Liver abscess is the most serious complication due to amebic infection. The patient complains of the pain of the liver,fever, loss of weight, and sweating. If the abscess is located at the top of the liver, it may penetrate into the chest, forming a more serious condition known as pulmonary abscess.
Diagnosis is not always easy in cases of diarrhea. A study of the stools should always be done, preferably using fresh specimens. The complement fixation reaction is also of some value in making the diagnosis.
In the sever amebic infection, emetine hydrochloride, 1.0 cc., is given intramuscularly each day for six days. This should be followed by sulfasuxidine, 1.0 gm. four times a day by mouth, and penicillin, 500,000 units intramuscularly each day, for several days. This can be followed by Diodoquine, once table four times a day, for the next three weeks. If desired, Carbarsone, 0.25 gm. Tablet three times a day for ten days, may then be used.
If there is onlyd moderate diarrhea and no fever, the emetine is omitted, but the penicillin and sulfasuxidine are given, followed by the course of Diodoquine and Carbarsone. If the patient is suspected of having a liver abscess, chloroquine (Aralen) is used, the dose being one tablet thre times a day, for two weeks. A large liver abscess may have to be drained surgically.
Unfortunately, ordinary chlorination of water cannot be relied upon kill amebics cyst, but chlorination plus proper filtration seem to be effective. A special iodine tablet known as Globaline is useful for small scale use for household drinking water. When in doubt, boil all drinking water, for this will not only kill the amebic cyst, but another organism present. Sanitary disposal of humansewage and avoiding its use for garden fertilization will greatly lower the incidence of this disease. Proper control of flies and through treatment of all cases. Including food handlers in particular, will usually bring this disease under control.
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