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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 28 (2014), Issue 7, Pages 355-359

Invasive Amoebiasis: A Review of Entamoeba Infections Highlighted with Case Reports

Christopher Skappak,1 Sarah Akierman,2 Sara Belga,3 Kerri Novak,1,4 Kris Chadee,1 Stefan J Urbanski,5 Deirdre Church,1 and Paul L Beck1,4

1Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
3Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
4Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
5Department of Pathology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 9 December 2013; Accepted 9 June 2014

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Entamoeba histolytica infections of the gastrointestinal tract are common in the developing world but rare in North America. The authors present two cases: one involving an individual who had not travelled to an endemic area and another involving an individual who was born in Bulgaria. Both presented with severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Endoscopic assessment revealed scattered colonic ulcerations and one patient was found to have a liver abscess on imaging. Stool ova and parasite studies were negative in both cases and both were diagnosed on review of colonic biopsies. On review of all Entamoeba cases in the Calgary Health Zone (Alberta), ova and parasite analysis found an average of 63.7 Entamoeba cases per year and a pathology database review revealed a total of seven cases of invasive E histolytica (2001 to 2011). Both patients responded well to antibiotic therapy. E histolytica should be considered in new-onset colitis, especially in individuals from endemic areas.