Amebiasis is a disease caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Persons can get amebiasis by putting anything into their mouths that has touched the feces of a person who is infected with the parasite, swallows something, such as food or water, that is contaminated with the parasite, or swallows the cysts (eggs) of the parasite picked up from contaminated surfaces or hands. It can also be spread by person-to-person contact.
Amebiasis can affect anyone, although it is more common in people who live in tropical areas with poor sanitary conditions. Diagnosis can be difficult because other parasites can look very similar to this parasite. Infected people do not always become sick. Medication is available if you have been infected and need treatment.