Entamoeba histolytica Infection in the Philippines: A Review

Riley A. Beup

Life Sciences Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Iloilo, Philippines.

Nicolas G. Guanzon Jr.

Life Sciences Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Iloilo, Philippines.

Rolando V. Pakingking Jr. *

Life Sciences Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Iloilo, Philippines and College of Medical Laboratory Science, Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Iloilo, Philippines.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Entamoeba histolytica, an intestinal protozoan parasite, is the primary causative agent of both intestinal and extraintestinal amoebiasis. While six species of Entamoeba have been identified in the human gut, only E. histolytica is well recognized as a pathogenic amoeba associated with intestinal and extraintestinal infections. In many cases of E. histolytica infection, symptoms are either absent or mild, whereas the most frequent clinical manifestations are colitis and liver abscess due to amoebic infection. Diagnosis typically relies on microscopic and serological methods. Metronidazole is the standard therapy for treating children and adults with invasive amoebiasis. However, the absence of an effective vaccine poses a significant challenge to controlling the transmission and progression of the parasite into an active, invasive disease. Notably, in developing tropical countries like the Philippines, significant cases of E. histolytica infections have been documented in communities with inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. The development of pragmatic and cost-effective diagnostic methods is therefore crucial for the clinical care of amoebiasis patients. Drawing from a limited pool of published articles (2010 to date) on cases of E. histolytica infections and parasitological surveys in the Philippines, the current review underscores the critical knowledge gap on the prevalence of amoebiasis as well as the disease pathology and treatment of this zoonotic parasitic disease.

Keywords: Entamoeba histolytica, amoebiasis, prevalence, epidemiology, Philippines

How to Cite

Beup, R. A., Nicolas G. Guanzon Jr., & Rolando V. Pakingking Jr. (2024). Entamoeba histolytica Infection in the Philippines: A Review. UTTAR PRADESH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 45(3), 139–148. https://doi.org/10.56557/upjoz/2024/v45i33883


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