Amoebiasis or ameobic dysentery is a non-contagious infectious disease caused by ingesting certain types of single-celled organisms. Next to dental caries, it is the most commonly suffered disease in the world, affecting an estimated 480 million people, although it is currently largely limited to the developing world. Although about 90% of cases are asymptomatic, it can cause symptoms in the digestive tract ranging from abdominal pain to severe colitis. Severe colitis can lead to life-threatening peritonitis. If the amoeba reach the bloodstream, it often causes liver abcesses. It causes anywhere from 40,000 to 110,000 deaths a year.
Prevention is through proper hygiene procedures to separate food from feces. However, many ameoba that cause the condition are remarkably hardy and can last nearly an hour under fingernails and up to a month in soil.