The recent three-year surveillance study by the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NICED) reveals the emergence of Entamoeba moshkovskii (E. Moshkovskii) as a leading pathogen causing diarrhoea outbreaks in the Kolkata region.
GS II: Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- Key Findings of the Study on E. moshkovskii Infections in Kolkata
- Entamoeba moshkovskii
Key Findings of the Study on E. moshkovskii Infections in Kolkata:
- E. moshkovskii has emerged as the leading cause of amoebic infections in humans in Kolkata, surpassing E. histolytica.
- Over 3% of patients with diarrhoea were infected with E. moshkovskii.
- Infections caused by E. histolytica were decreasing, while E. moshkovskii infections were increasing.
- E. moshkovskii infections exhibited two distinct peaks during the summer and post-fall seasons, unlike E. histolytica which followed a wet-dry season pattern.
- Children aged 5-12 years were most affected by E. moshkovskii infections.
- The study suggests that E. moshkovskii may act as a potential pathogen causing diarrhoea and gastrointestinal disorders, rather than being solely a commensal organism.
- PCR-based molecular identification was used to differentiate between E. histolytica and E. moshkovskii due to their morphological similarities.
- E. moshkovskii was identified in more than 50% of diarrhoea cases caused by amoebic parasites.
- Belongs to the same genus as E. histolytica but has distinct genetic and biochemical traits.
- Initially isolated from sewage in Moscow in 1941.
- Found in soil, water, and animals.
Health Implications of Entamoeba moshkovskii Infections
- Can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration.
- Has the potential to damage the intestines, leading to ulcers, bleeding, or serious conditions like liver infections.
Modes of Transmission
- Infection can occur through the consumption of contaminated food or water.
- Direct contact with feces can also result in the spread of the infection.
Challenges in Identification and Treatment
- Similar appearance to Entamoeba histolytica under a microscope makes it difficult to differentiate them.
- Specialized tests like PCR or DNA sequencing are required for accurate identification.
- Treatment of E. moshkovskii infections can be challenging, as the standard drugs used for amoebic infections may not be effective.
- Further research is needed to identify optimal treatment options.
-Source: The Hindu