Beware: This parasite mimics IBD symptoms

'Serious risk' if the patient is treated with corticosteroids

Amoebic colitis caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica can mimic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), sometimes with catastrophic consequences, a conference has been told.

Administering steroids to patients with amoebic colitis can lead to toxic megacolon or bowel perforation, according to an unpublished case report presented to the annual scientific conference of the Gastro­enterological Society of Australia.

The report involved a patient misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease who took the anti-inflammatory agent mesalazine for five months before