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Enteromonas hominis

[Enteromonas hominis]

Cysts of E. hominis, each possessing four nuclei, in a stool specimen.

Trophozoite of Enteromonas hominis in a stool specimen stained with Trichrome.


Cysts of E. hominis, each possessing four nuclei, in a stool specimen

Cyst of E. hominis in a stool specimen stained with Trichrome. In this focal plane, three of four nuclei are visible.

Causal Agents

Enteromonas hominis, a nonpathogenic flagellate.


Life Cycle

Life cycle of Enteromonas hominis

Both cysts and trophozoites of Enteromonas hominis are shed in feces The number 1. Infection occurs after the ingestion of cysts in fecal-contaminated food or water, or on fomites The number 2. In the large (and possibly small) intestine, excystation releases trophozoites. Enteromonas resides in the large intestine, where it is regarded as a commensal and is not known to cause disease.

Geographic Distribution

Worldwide.

Clinical Presentation

Enteromonas hominis is considered nonpathogenic. The presence of cysts and/or trophozoites in stool specimens can however be an indicator of fecal contamination of a food or water source, and thus does not rule-out other parasitic infections.

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  • Page last reviewed November 29, 2013
  • Page last updated November 29, 2013
  • Content source: Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
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