Amebic dysentery is the result of an infection with amoebas (a type of protozoan), particularly Entamoeba histolytica. The disease is contracted by eating food or drinking water that has been infected with encysted forms of the amoebas.

The symptoms include vomiting, nausea, severe diarrhea, weakness, abdominal pain, ulcers (especially in the colon), and sometimes jaundice.

During the course of the disease, sores and abscesses form on the mucous membrane of the large intestine (sometimes causing perforations), and the abscesses may be carried to the liver via the portal vein. Patients are usually treated with drugs called metronidazole (Flagyl) and chloroquinine; they may need to be medicated for up to three months to clear the infection.


From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

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