There are different species of the Entamoeba parasite. While humans can be hosts to at least six species of Entamoeba, only one species is thought to cause disease. Entamoeba parasites are transmitted by the ingestion of food or water supplies which have been contaminated by the fecal material of infected animals. They burrow through the intestinal wall and spread through the bloodstream to infect other organs, such as the liver, lungs and brain.
Entamoeba histolytica is among the most dangerous of the species and live predominantly in tropical areas. It can cause severe diarrhea with blood. Other more mild yet chronic symptoms may be:
- frequent loose stools
- abdominal pain
- intermittent constipation
- diarrhea with abdominal swelling
Entamoeba gingivalis can be found within the spaces between the teeth and is associated with periodontal disease and gingivitis. As the photo implies, you can get this little fellow simply by kissing someone that has it. That might remind you to floss, but even better than flossing is avoiding foods that feed the germs in the mouth. These are mainly refined carbohydrates.
Entamoeba coli, another entamoeba, is found in human's large intestines. It is not the same as E-coli (Escherichia coli) which is a harmful bacteria you get from eating raw or uncooked meat.