Before entering fully into the exhaustive definition of amoeba, it is worth
knowing its etymological origin. In this case, it must be stated that this is a
term that comes from the scientific Latin, specifically “amoeba”. A word this
which, in turn, derives from the Greek "amoibe", which can be translated as
"transmutation" or "change".
an amoeba is a protozoan: an organism of
microscopic size that has a single cell or a set of cells that are identical to
each other. In the specific case of the amoeba, it is a protist organism (it
is a eukaryote but does not enter the classification of animal, plant or fungus)
and rhizopod (to move and feed, it emits pseudopods).
There are multiple species of amoebas, which can inhabit wet soil, water or
even animals (acting, in this case, as parasites). The
main characteristic of the amoeba is that, since it does not have a cell wall, its
Discovered in the mid- 18th century, amoebas can be easily
obtained and stored. That is why its presence in laboratories for
the development of research is frequent.
In its structure, the nucleus, the cytoplasm (composed
of endoplasm and ectoplasm) and various organelles can be seen. The pseudopods they
emit are extensions of their cytoplasm, which are tentacle-like. In addition to
moving, these pseudopods allow them to capture their food and give way to phagocytosis.
Amoebae also have a contractile-type vacuole that helps them
maintain stable osmotic pressure. Through this vacuole, the amoeba captures the
surplus water from the cell and, from time to time, sends it
outside through the cytoplasmic membrane.
To reproduce, amoebas appeal to binary fission: their
genetic material, through mitosis, is duplicated as the cell
spreads. The cytoplasm, in this process, undergoes a division and two cells
Other important aspects that are worth knowing about the amoeba are the
-It is considered to reproduce every minute.
-Among the best-known amoebas and the ones that generate the most controversy is
the Up Amoeba, which is in charge of causing amoebic dysentery. This is a
disease that manifests itself through vomiting, liver and colon injuries, as
well as severe diarrhea.
It is important to know that the aforementioned dysentery is one of the most
serious consequences of the most well-known disease caused by amoebas, which is
the so-called amoebiasis. This was discovered in the second half of the 19th
century and is considered to be the third deadliest parasitic pathology, along
with schistosomiasis and malaria.
It occurs because amoebae lodge in the large intestine, where they produce
all kinds of ulcerations. It is also important to know that it is spread through
contaminated hands, food and water.
Bloody stools, severe abdominal pain and pictures where constipation
alternates with diarrhea are the main symptoms of amebiasis, which can be
suffered for years.