- Protozoan species, genus Entamoeba.
- E. histolytica is morphologically similar to E. dispar, E. moshkovskii, and E. bangladeshi.
- Histolytic - histo + lyein (Greek) to loosen, trophozoites contain cytolytic and proteolytic enzymes, including collagenase and proteinases, and lyze neutrophils and macrophages.
- Cysts are ingested; excystation occurs in the distal ileum and cecum. Motile trophozoites are released and migrate to the large intestine.
- Cysts found in contaminated water or food. Cysts remain viable outside host in water, soil, and sewage for weeks or months.
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