Difference between Amoebic dysentery and Bacillary dysentery

Bacillary dysentery also known as shigellosis is a bacterial disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella spp. Other bacterial cause of dysentery are, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Enteroinvasive E.coli (EIEC), Enterohemrorrhagic E.coli (EHEC), Campylobacter spps, and Salmonella sps.

Amoebic dysentery (also known as amoebiasis) is caused by a invasive protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica.


Character Amoebic dysentery Bacillary dysentery
Number 6-8 motions a day Over 10 motions a day
Amount (Volume) Relatively copious Small amount
Appearance and Amount Blood mucus, semi formed

Blood mucus, mainly watery


Odour Offensive (fishy odour) Odourless
Colour Dark red (altered blood) Bright red (fresh blood)
Reaction Acidic Alkaline
Consistency Not adherent to the container Adherent to the container
RBCs In clumps Discrete, sometimes in clumps due to rouleaux formation
Pus Cells Few Numerous
Macrophages Few Numerous, many of them contain RBCs hence may be mistaken for E. histolytica
Eosinophils Present Scarce
Charcot-Leyden (C-L) crystals* Present Absent
Pyknotic bodies** Present Absent
Ghost Cells*** Absent Present
Parasites Seen Trophozoites of E. histolytica Absent
Bacteria Seen Many motile bacteria Scanty, nonmotile  (Shigella is non motile bacteria)
Growth on MacConkey Agar Various intestinal flora may grow Pure growth of Shigella spp. may be seen

 Further notes: 

Charcot Leyden Crystals
Charcot Leyden Crystals


  • *Charcot-Leyden crystals are are hexagonal bipyramidal structures, formed from the breakdown of eosinophils and may be seen in the stool or sputum of patients with parasitic diseases.
  • **Pyknotic bodies are the nuclear remains of tissue cells and leukocytes, they pay present in the stools of person suffering from amoebiasis.
  • ***Ghost cell is a swollen/enlarged epithelial cell with only cytoplasmic outline, but without a nucleus.


2 thoughts on “Difference between Amoebic dysentery and Bacillary dysentery

  1. Can worm infestation be diagnosed on naked eye examination of stool?can tape worm infestation be diagnosed on naked stool examination? How it appears to look at?

    1. Tankeshwar Acharya

      - Edit


      Tapeworm segements can be seen in the stool by naked eye, but to visualize the eggs, you have to perform wet mount technique or other microscopic techniques.

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