Difference between Intestinal Tuberculosis and Intestinal Amoebiasis

Tuberculosis is a chronic illness caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and it is abbreviated as T.B. it can occur in any part of gastrointestinal disease starting from oral cavity to anal canal. It required immediate and long term treatment otherwise results in multiple complications e.g. rupture of intestines which then need surgical procedure. Amoebiasis is also an intestinal infection. The organism causing it is known as ‘Entamoeba histolytica’. Its treatment is easy and short term as compared to intestinal T.B. But early investigations and diagnosis is necessary for total cure. Both the diseases are irritating for patients as they produce symptoms early.

Intestinal T.B

Intestinal T.B is a widely distributed disease among people especially in under developed countries like Pakistan and India. The most commonly involved sites are ileum, proximal colon and peritoneum. There are two types of intestinal T.B. First one is ulcerative tuberculosis, it occurs after tuberculous infection of lungs caused by swallowing of tubercle bacilli. It produces ulcers in the ileum. Diarrhea and weight loss are chief complaints of patients. Second type is hyperplastic T.B which is caused by ingestion of mycobacterium tuberculosis by persons who have high resistance against the organism. This form causes enlargement of lymph nodes and there may be a mass in the right lower part of belly. Symptom of this disease may resemble that of cancer, appendicitis, fungal infection and female reproductive parts tumor.

Intestinal Amoebiasis

Amoebiasis is caused by entamoeba histolytica which is mainly found in impure food and drinks. It is also common in developing countries. It infects human beings in the form of cysts which reach the intestine through infected food and water. In the small intestine it is converted into adult form called trophozite which are then transferred to colon and produce ulcers in colon and upper part of rectum. In the cecum it can cause perforation. Diarrhea, on and off, along with stools who smell are the main symptoms of this disease. There may be abdominal cramps and liquid whitish discharge in the stools. Diagnosis is mainly based on laboratory investigations.

Intestinal T.B VS Intestinal Amoebiasis

Causative factor:

Intestinal T.B is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Intestinal amoebiasis is caused by entamoeba histolytica.

Duration of disease:

Intestinal T.B is a chronic disease.

Intestinal amoebiasis may be acute or chronic.


Intestinal T.B produces ulcers with undermined margins of ulcerated area.

Intestinal amoebiasis produces ulcer which are flask shaped.


Intestinal T.B can result in perforation of part of gut.

Intestinal amoebiasis does not cause perforation.


Intestinal T.B can cause constrictions in the intestine.

Intestinal amoebiasis does not cause constrictions.


Intestinal tuberculosis is diagnosed through barium meal and diagnostic laparoscopy.

Intestinal amoebiasis is diagnosed through stools examination, PCR and endoscopic examination.


Intestinal T.B is treated through Anti-Tuberculous Drugs for 9 months.

Intestinal amoebiasis is treated through metronidazole and diloxanide furoate.

Differential Diagnosis:

Intestinal T.B can be confused with appendix mass, cancer and fungal infection.

Intestinal ameobiasis can be confused with T.B and cancer.


Intestines are subject to various acute and chronic infections resulting in complications.