Light microscope footage of a single Entamoeba histolytica protozoan. E. histolytica is a parasite that causes amoebic dysentery in humans. Seen here is the active trophozoite form of the parasite, which lives in the human intestines, causing ulceration and symptoms including diarrhoea, cramps, fever and weight loss. If untreated, the amoeba can move to the liver and other organs, and the infection can prove fatal in some cases. The disease is endemic in regions with poor sanitation. The parasites are passed in faeces, and can survive outside the body as long-lasting cysts, which revert to the active trophozoite stage when ingested. Proper hygiene aids prevention of the disease. Treatment is with antimicrobial drugs. The trophozoites can reach 20 microns in diameter. This is the Pavia Biopsy (PVB) strain. Filmed with differential interference contrast illumination.
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