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Entamoeba Histolyrica Trophozoites, 630X smear
Entamoeba histolytica is an anaerobic parasitic protozoan, part of the genus Entamoeba. Predominantly infecting humans and other primates causing amoebiasis,E. histolytica is estimated to infect about 50 million people worldwide. Previously, it was thought that 10% of the world population was infected, but these figures predate the recognition that at least 90% of these infections were due to a second species, E. dispar. Mammals such as dogs and cats can become infected transiently, but are not thought to contribute significantly to transmission. The active (trophozoite) stage exists only in the host and in fresh loose feces; cysts survive outside the host in water, in soils, and on foods, especially under moist conditions on the latter. The cysts are readily killed by heat and by freezing temperatures, and survive for only a few months outside of the host.