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A number of nonpathogenic amoebas may be found in the bowel. However, those which produce disease may only manifest as asymptomatic intestinal infections or produce mild to severe symptomatic infection, such as liver abscess or other extra-intestinal infections.

Amoebas live at the expense of the host. The motile form of the parasite can invade tissues other than gastrointestinal. It is difficult to attain a complete cure because it is necessary to kill all of the parasites in order to prevent relapse. This can be difficult to do if the parasite remains in cystic form.

The Amebicides are best selected for treatment by how they are classified as to their site of action. An example of this would be the Extra-intestinal or Tissue amebicides such as metronidazole, which acts primarily in the bowel wall, liver, and bone. Others such as the Luminal amebicides exert effects directly in the bowel lumen. It is common to see each type of amebicide being used to augment the other.

Since diseases of this nature can be passed by contact with infected excreta, it is imperative to practice good handwashing techniques, as well as maintaining good husbandry practices at all times.

Posted on June 23, 2003, 15:45, Last updated on December 12, 2008, 15:20 | Anti-Infectives

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