Amoebiasis: Current status in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Medical Journal of Australia, 2007, 186 (8), pp. 412 - 416
Issue Date:
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• Entamoeba histolytica is one of the most common parasitic infections worldwide, infecting about 50 million people and resulting in 40 000-100 000 deaths a year. • In Australia, people at risk of infection include immigrants, travellers returning from countries of high endemicity, Indigenous people, and men who have sex with men. • Clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic carriage to invasive disease. Amoebic colitis and amoebic liver abscess are the most common invasive manifestations observed in Australia. • Diagnosis depends on a high index of suspicion and laboratory investigations. Molecular methods (using the polymerase chain reaction) are the most sensitive for identifying and differentiating Entamoeba species. • Treatment should always include a luminal agentto eradicate colonisation, prevent spread and/or reduce the risk of invasive disease. Medical therapy can successfully cure invasive disease, including amoebic liver abscesses.
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