Entamoeba coli

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This article is about the protozoal parasite Entamoeba coli. For the bacterium with the species abbreviation E. coli, see Escherichia coli.
Entamoeba coli
Entamoeba coli 01.jpg
Entamoeba coli cyst
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Phylum: Amoebozoa
Class: Archamoebae
Genus: Entamoeba
Species: E. coli
Binomial name
Entamoeba coli

Entamoeba coli is a non-pathogenic species of Entamoeba that frequently exists as a commensal parasite in the human gastrointestinal tract. E. coli (not to be confused with the bacterium Escherichia coli) is important in medicine because it can be confused during microscopic examination of stained stool specimens with the pathogenic Entamoeba histolytica.[1] While this differentiation is typically done by visual examination of the parasitic cysts via light microscopy, new methods using molecular biology techniques have been developed.[2]

Clinical significance[edit]

Entamoeba coli cyst with more than 4 nuclei

The presence of E.coli is not cause in and of itself to seek treatment as it is considered harmless.[3] However, when a person becomes infected with this benign entamoeba, other pathogenic organisms may have been introduced as well, and these other pathogens might cause infection or illness.[4]

Distinguishing characteristics[edit]

E. Coli trophozoites can be distinguished by their wide and tapered pseudopodia. They are often mistaken for E. histolytica due to their overlap in size. The cysts are distinguished by noticing the eight nuclei found in the mature form.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sodeman WA (1996). "Intestinal Protozoa: Amebas". Baron's Medical Microbiology (Baron S et al., eds.) (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. 
  2. ^ Verweij JJ, Laeijendecker D, Brienen EA, van Lieshout L, Polderman AM (2003). "Detection and identification of entamoeba species in stool samples by a reverse line hybridization assay". J. Clin. Microbiol. 41 (11): 5041–5. doi:10.1128/JCM.41.11.5041-5045.2003. PMC 262518. PMID 14605136. 
  3. ^ "Intestinal and Luminal Protozoa". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  4. ^ "Nonpathogenic Intestinal Amebae Infection". Parasitic Disease Information. CDC. 2004-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  5. ^ http://www.tulane.edu/~wiser/protozoology/notes/intes.html

Further reading[edit]