Detection of Amoeba antigen in feces is used to diagnose amoebic dysentery.
Amoebiasis is the infection of the gastrointestinal tract by the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica, a protozoan that can invade the intestinal mucosa and can spread to other organs, mainly the liver. The amoeba Entamoeba dispar is different but closely related to Entamoeba histolytica species. Its discovery has had profound implications for the epidemiology of amoebiasis, as most of the asymptomatic infections found worldwide are now attributed to this type of non-invasive amoeba. It is estimated that 90% of people infected with Entamoeba have E. dispar.
Amoebiasis can manifest as an acute, chronic or asymptomatic infection. The main symptom is dysentery manifested by diarrhea and abdominal pain. Complications of the disease can be liver abscesses, lung abscesses, or even brain abscesses which, if left untreated, can lead to death.
The amoeba is transmitted to humans from contaminated water, vegetables, raw fruits, and other foods or poorly cooked or washed with water containing infectious cysts from feces. Flies and cockroaches are also likely to carry infectious cysts from feces to food.
Amoebic dysentery occurs frequently in tropical countries, but cases have been reported in temperate and cold regions. In Africa, tropical Asia, and Latin America, more than two-thirds of the population have amoebae in their gut, although most cases can be asymptomatic infections.
The amoebas Entamoeba histolytica, E. dispar, and E. moshkovskii are morphologically identical but biochemically and genetically different.
The Amoeba antigen test cannot distinguish Entamoeba histolytica from Entamoeba dispar. If there is a need for separation then Molecular Testing for Entamoeba histolytica should be performed.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.