Amoebiasis Lab Test

Entamoeba histolytica
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Clinical Definition of Amoebiasis

 Amebiasis is a parasitic infection of the intestines caused by Entamoeba histolytica. It is common in tropical areas of the world where sanitation is poor, allowing food and water supplies to be exposed to faecal contamination. It is usually transmitted by ingesting contaminated water containing the microorganism; eating contaminated raw vegetables and fruit; unprotected oral-anal sexual contact or through contact with dirty hands or objects in areas of poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions.

Is Amoebiasis contagious?

Amoebiasis is contagious. Wherever living conditions are unsanitary, and hygiene is poor, the chances are higher that the infection will pass from person to person. Someone carrying amoebas in his or her intestines can pass the infection to others through the stool.

Amoebiasis Signs and Symptoms

When symptoms occur, they tend to appear 1 to 4 weeks after ingestion of the cysts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 10 to 20 per cent of people who have amebiasis become ill from it. Symptoms at this stage tend to be mild and include loose stools and stomach cramping.

Once the trophozoites have breached the intestinal walls, they can enter the bloodstream and travel to various internal organs. They can end up in your liver, heart, lungs, brain, or other organs. If trophozoites invade an internal organ, they can potentially cause:

• abscesses

• infections

• severe illness

• death

Who are at greater risks?

People with the greatest risk for amebiasis include:

• people who have travelled to tropical locations where there’s poor sanitation

• immigrants from tropical countries with poor sanitary conditions

• people who live in institutions with poor sanitary conditions, such as prisons

• men who have sex with other men

• people with compromised immune systems and other health conditions

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

The test is conducted to detect Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent of amebiasis.

What is an Amoebiasis Test?

An amoebiasis test is a blood test conducted to determine the level of parasitic infection of the intestines caused by entamoeba histolyca.

What other tests might I take along with Amoebiasis Test?

HIV (I & II)-Human immunodeficiency virus Screening: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) destroys the human body's immune system which could lead to severe poisonous contaminations that do not normally affect healthy people. HIV is contracted in the human body via unprotected sex with an infected person through semen or vaginal fluid, contact with the blood of an infected person, sharing drug needles or through pregnant women to their babies during pregnancy. Infection with HIV causes AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) which is an advanced form of an HIV. It is preventable and hence advisable to practice safe sex or by getting treated for AIDS through certain medications.

Homocysteine: Homocysteine is an amino acid produced when proteins are broken down. A high homocysteine level, also called hyperhomocysteinemia, can contribute to arterial damage and blood clots in your blood vessels.

• ELISA test (HIV Confirmatory Test): The ELISA test is typically the first test ordered by a healthcare provider. In case of a positive result from this test, the ELISA test was previously followed by a test called a Western blot to confirm the diagnosis.

How do I prepare for an Amoebiasis Test?

Preparatory instructions during specimen collection:

• No Fasting Required.

• No other special preparations required.

How is Amoebiasis Test done?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample)

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm. A needle is used to collect a blood sample from the vein of one's arm, and the sample is taken to the lab for further examination.

Amoebiasis Treatment

Treatment for uncomplicated cases of amebiasis generally consists of a 10-day course of metronidazole (Flagyl) that you take as a capsule. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to control nausea if you need it.

If the parasite is present in your intestinal tissues, the treatment must address not only the organism but also any damage to your infected organs. Surgery may be necessary if the colon or peritoneal tissues have perforations.

Amoebiasis Prevention and cure

Proper sanitation is the key to avoiding amebiasis. As a general rule, thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before handling food.

If you’re travelling to places where the infection is common, follow this regimen when preparing and eating food:

• Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating.

• Avoid eating fruits or vegetables unless you wash and peel them yourself.

• Stick to bottled water and soft drinks.

• If you must drink water, boil it or treat it with iodine.

• Avoid ice cubes or fountain drinks.

• Avoid milk, cheese, or other unpasteurized dairy products.

• Avoid food sold by street vendors.

Why do I need Amoebiasis Test?

The most common symptoms of amoebiasis are diarrhoea, increased urgency and frequency of stools, loose and foul smelling stool and flatulence, stomach and abdominal cramps; blood-stained or large amounts of blood found in dysentery, mucous and spew. Liver infection or other stomach infections.

Understanding results of Amoebiasis

Reference RangeInterpretation
0 to 0.4 OD UnitsNegative
Above 0.4 OD units
Above 0.4 OD unitsPositive

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

References

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/amebiasis/dx.html
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2542399
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000298.htm
  4. http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/0016-5085(80)90204-8/fulltext
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC207118/
  6. http://www.tropicalparasitology.org/article.asp?issn=2229-5070;year=2014;volume=4;issue=2;spage=90;epage=95;aulast=Parija