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General Amoeba Characteristics
- unicellular protozoans; microscopic creatures that aimlessly wander about in mud, water, and soil, and reproducing by binary fission.
- Most are free-living, some are commensal and a few are parasitic.
7 species of Amoeba known to inhabit humans:
- Entamoeba histolytica
- E. hartmanni
- E. coli
- E. polecki
- E. gingivalis
- Endoliomax nana
- Iodamoeba butchlii (eyeodomeebah booshlee eye)
3 other genera of amoeba that can parasitize humans under specific conditions.
Characteristics of genus Entamoeba
- Vesicular nucleus possessing a small karyosome near the center
- Chromatin granules arranged around periphery of nucleus
- Cytoplasm contains food vacuoles, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, and ribosomes
- Also contain Helical Bodies in the trophozoites. 0.3 - 1 um in length with packaged RNA and ribosomes.