Iodamoeba Bustchlii: What is it? Life Cycle, Transmission, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

It is an organism that belongs to the amoebas (superclass Sarcodina).

Iodamoeba bustchlii is considered not a pathogen, rather a commensal and does not cause any disease.

Iodamoeba bustchlii is the most common amoeba associated with pigs, but it is also found in monkeys and humans, as are many other amoebae seen in feces.

The organs affected by Iodamoeba bustchlii infection is the large intestine, mainly in the cecal area.

Both the trophozoite and the cyst forms can be found in clinical stool samples.


Its life cycle is similar to that of E. histolytica but it is not invasive. Iodamoeba bustchlii subsists on mucus and bacterial remains.

Iodamoeba bustchlii usually enter the human body in the form of cysts and reach the large intestine, especially the cecum, where they complete their life cycle again.

In the cecal area they are found more frequently and from there the cysts are expelled again through the feces.


Its transmission is fecal-oral through the form of cyst, by the consumption of contaminated food and water. Its transmission is mainly from human to human.


Iodamoeba bustchlii is a non-pathogenic amoeba with a worldwide distribution, although it is not as common as E. coli.


The clinical symptoms and signs are generally absent but in some cases some have been observed, such as:

  • Ectopic abscesses, such as those of E. histolytica.
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Dysentery with mucus and blood in stool.


The laboratory diagnosis is made through a coproparasitic examination , when the characteristic cysts are found.

In the intestinal sample, it is determined, in a method of concentration of formaldehyde stained with iodine.

In the permanent stained smear, concentration and identification that is based on morphology.


In the event of suspected amoebic dysentery, the laboratory should be informed that a fresh sample is being supplied, so that it can be examined within twenty minutes of evacuation.

Upon cooling, the amoeba stops moving, which becomes very difficult to identify.

Direct microscopy should be performed by mixing a small amount of the sample in a 0.9% sodium chloride solution.

This allows the detection of motile trophozoites of Iodamoeba bustchlii and can also provide information on the content of the stool, that is, the presence of leukocytes and red blood cells.

In the search, for example, mainly for cysts, not for amoeba, several stool samples are required to be examined, by direct microscopy and a sensitive concentration technique, three negative stool samples are required before it can be accepted that there is no amoebic infection.

Microscopic examination of an amoebic abscess aspirate, for example, in the liver or lungs, may reveal blood-sucking trophozoites.

It should be examined immediately by mixing a drop of warm saline with a small amount of aspirated pus on a microscope slide.

Cyst morphology

Iodamoeba bustchlii cysts are 9-15 μm in diameter and have a nucleus in mature cysts, usually eccentrically positioned.

The nucleus contains a large karyosome that appears brown on an iodine stain.

Peripheral nuclear chromatin is often seen as a “basket nucleus” on one side. Chromatoid bodies are not present in cysts.

It contains a large glycogen vacuole, which can collapse in on itself. Glycogen is present as a compact, well-defined bulk tincture of a dark brown color.

Morphology of trophozoites

Iodamoeba bustchlii trophozoites are 8-20 μm in size and actively mobile.

In a stained fecal smear, a nucleus with a large karyosome and no nuclear chromatin is evident.

Chromatin bodies form streaks around the karyosome.

The cytoplasm appears relatively messy granular, containing vacuoles with bacteria and ingested debris.

Iodamoeba bustchlii trophozoites can be very difficult to differentiate as they tend to be confused with Endolimax Nana.


Recently, patients with bloody diarrhea associated with a large number of Iodamoeba bustchlii cysts have been reported whose symptoms responded to metronidazole, administered orally in doses of 750 mg every 8 hours, for a period of 10 days.


For the prevention of infection with Iodamoeba bustchlii it is recommended:

  • Improved hygiene, with integrated and community-based efforts through health education and promotion.
  • Improve environmental sanitation, with proper disposal of faecal waste.
  • Safe food with proper washing of raw fruits and vegetables with risk of contamination.
  • Safe drinking water, purified or filtered and boiled.
  • Sanitary monitoring of the people who are in charge of handling food.
  • Hand washing before eating and after using the toilet.