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Acta Medica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-2448


LOPEZ, Myriam Consuelo; QUIROZ, Damián Arnoldo  and  PINILLA, Análida Elizabeth. Diagnosis of intestinal and extraintestinal amebiasis. Acta Med Colomb [online]. 2008, vol.33, n.2, pp.75-83. ISSN 0120-2448.

Objective: to carry out a review of the national and international literature as of the XXth century in order to update the advances for the diagnosis of complex odd Entamoeba histolytica / Entamoeba dispar and that of intestinal and extra intestinal amebiasis that may be of use to the scientific community. As well as to unify the diagnostic criteria of this parasitosis known as a public health problem, and as a consequence of that, optimize the quality of population care. Data source: there was a systematic search for the scientific literature Publisher in Spanish and English since 1960 until today, this selection started on the first semester of 2006 until 2007, in the development of the line on intestinal and extra-intestinal amebiasis of the Medical School of the National University of Colombia. A retrospective search process was carried out, systematically reviewing the most relevant articles as well as the products of this research line. In deciding how to make this article, there was a continuous search in different data bases such as Medline, SciELO and other bases in the library of the National University of Colombia, as well as other classical books related to the subject. For that purpose the terms amebiasis, odd Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba, diagnosis, epidemiology, dysentery, amebic liver abscess, were used. Studies selection: titles and abstracts were reviewed to select the original publications and the most representative ones related to this article’s subject. Data extraction: the articles were classified according to the subject, the chronology and the authors according to the scientific contribution to solve the problem. Synthesis of the data: in the first instance, a chronological critical analysis was carried out to order and synthesize the progress made in the diagnosis until confirmation of the experts’ agreements in the field of amebiasis was obtained throughout the world. Conclusion: this article summarizes what has taken place during the XXth and the beginning of the XXIst century in updating the diagnosis of amebiasis and accepting the hypothesis of the complex Entamoeba histolytica / Entamoeba dispar proposed by Brumpt in 1925. In Colombia, given the progress made in the diagnostic techniques, as well as the determination of Gal/GalNAc lectine in the feces, the prevalence of E. histolytica between 0.6%-1.4%. However, for the diagnosis of intestinal amebiasis direct test without being able to define the species. On the other hand, the most important clinical picture of extra-intestinal amebiasis is liver abscess; to make that diagnosis the clinical history the context is analyzed, including the clinical history, epidemiological aspects, imaging studies and IgG antibodies against histolytica. The histopathology of the colon lesions continues to be valid for the differential diagnosis with other etiologies. The advent of the new molecular biology tests, will be a helpful diagnosis tool in this pathology.

Keywords : amebiasis; Entamoeba histolytica; Entamoeba dispar; diagnosis; epidemiology; dysentery; amebic liver abscess.

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