• Amoebic Dysentery



    Amoebic dysentery is an intestinal illness.


    Amoebic dysentery is caused by a specific parasite. You may develop amoebic dysentery if you:
    • Put something in your mouth that has touched the stool of an infected person.
    • Swallow water or food that has been contaminated with the parasite.
    • Touch cysts (eggs) from contaminated surfaces and bring them to your mouth
    Digestive Pathway
    Digestive pathway
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of amoebic dysentery include:
    • Living in or traveling to developing countries, places that have poor sanitary conditions, or tropical or subtropical areas
    • Living in institutions with poor sanitary conditions
    • Household contact with infected person
    • Having anal sexual intercourse


    Most people with the parasite do not have symptoms. Symptoms may include:
    • Loose /watery stools or constipation
    • Bloody stools
    • Constant feeling you need to move your bowels
    • Nausea
    • Weight loss
    • Stomach pain
    • Fever
    • Pain on your right, upper side (if you have the parasite in your liver)


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
    Your doctor will need tests of your bodily fluids and waste products. This can be done with:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool samples
    Images may need to be taken of your bodily structures, especially your liver. This can be done with:


    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:


    Several antibiotics are available to treat amoebic dysentery or liver infection. Probiotics may also be helpful to reduce the symptoms.


    To help reduce your chances amoebic dysentery, take the following steps when traveling to a country that has poor sanitary conditions:
    • Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled for at least one minute
    • Do not eat fresh fruit or vegetables that you do not peel yourself
    • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk, cheese, or dairy products
    • Do not eat or drink anything sold by street vendors
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
    • People carrying the parasite may need to be treated to avoid spreading it to others.


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov


    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

    Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca


    Amebiasis (amoebic dysentery). New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/amebiasis/fact%5Fsheet.htm. Updated October 2011. Accessed August 7, 2013.

    Amebiasis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114784/Amebiasis. Updated July 14, 2015. Accessed September 27, 2016.

    Parasites–amebiasis—Entamoeba histolytica infection . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/amebiasis/index.html. Updated November 2, 2010. Accessed August 7, 2013.

    Revision Information

    • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardDavid Horn, MD
    • Review Date: 03/2017
    • Update Date: 06/16/2014
  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.