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About The Entamoeba Moshkovskii


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:

  1. Key Findings of the Study on E. moshkovskii Infections in Kolkata
  2. 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.

Entamoeba moshkovskii

  • 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

December 2023