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Entamoeba histolytica

Entamoeba histolytica is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Protozoan species, genus Entamoeba.
    • E. histolytica is morphologically similar to E. dispar, E. moshkovskii, and E. bangladeshi.
    • Histolytic - histo + lyein (Greek) to loosen, trophozoites contain cytolytic and proteolytic enzymes, including collagenase and proteinases, and lyze neutrophils and macrophages.
  • Cysts are ingested and excystation occurs in the distal ileum and cecum. Motile trophozoites are released and migrate to the large intestine. Trophozoite surface protein and key virulence factor, Gal/GalNAc lectin, mediates adherence to host cells.
    • Fecal anti-Gal/GalNAc lectin IgA protective against infection.[4]
    • Disease occurs in minority (10%) of infections.[1]
  • Cysts found in contaminated water or food. Cysts remain viable outside host in water, soil, and sewage for weeks or months.
    • Infecting dose is fewer than 10 cysts.[7]
    • Occurs primarily in developing countries, also seen in immigrants from and travelers to endemic areas and those with oral-anal or oral-fecal contact.

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Last updated: March 1, 2017


Spacek, Lisa A. "Entamoeba Histolytica." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2017. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540199/all/Entamoeba_histolytica.
Spacek LA. Entamoeba histolytica. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2017. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540199/all/Entamoeba_histolytica. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Spacek, L. A. (2017). Entamoeba histolytica. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540199/all/Entamoeba_histolytica
Spacek LA. Entamoeba Histolytica [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2017. [cited 2019 April 18]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540199/all/Entamoeba_histolytica.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Entamoeba histolytica ID - 540199 A1 - Spacek,Lisa,M.D., Ph.D. Y1 - 2017/03/01/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540199/all/Entamoeba_histolytica PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -