Among the issues that contribute to complicating the diagnosis and management of amebic infections are the varied clinical presentations, varied illness course in different communities, difficulties in diagnosis, and unavailability of medical resources in the developing world. Controversy surrounds the distinction between E histolytica and Entamoeba dispar infections. An integrated diagnostic-therapeutic approach is warranted to help address these complexities and provide the best patient management. Amebiasis is a parasitic disease of worldwide public health importance
Entamoeba histolytica is currently estimated to cause about 50 million infections worldwide every year, with an annual death rate of over 100,000. While the majority of infected persons remain asymptomatic cyst carriers, in a few the infection progresses to clinical illness. This observed disparity has remarkably affected the estimates of the global prevalenceand the treatment and management of the infection.
For symptomatic intestinal infection and extraintestinal disease, treatment with metronidazole or tinidazole should be followed by treatment with iodoquinol or paromomycin. Most patients have a gradual illness onset days or weeks after infection. Symptoms include cramps, watery or bloody diarrhea, and weight loss and may last several weeks.