(redirected from amebae)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


see amebaameba
or amoeba
, common name for certain one-celled organisms belonging to the phylum Sarcodina of the kingdom Protista. Amebas were previously classified as members of the animal kingdom.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the order of the simplest organized protozoa of the class Sarcodina. Most live in fresh waters, a few in the soil; there are parasitic forms. They are usually of microscopic dimensions up to 50 μm, but there are also “giants” such as Pelomyxa, which grows to 2–3 mm. Amoebas have no constant body shape; their cytoplasmic body forms extrusions or pseudopodia which aid in motion and food gathering. They feed on bacteria, minute algae, and protozoa. The amoeba engulfs the food particle and from its cytoplasm the amoeba secretes digestive juices and forms a food vacuole within which the food is dissolved and is incorporated into the cytoplasm. The excretion of water (osmoregulation) and metabolic products occurs through the contractory vacuoles, which gradually accumulate waste matter and discharge it at the surface.

Amoebas ordinarily have one nucleus, but Pelomyxa is multinucleate. The majority of amoebas multiply asexually, dividing in two. The division of the body is preceded by mitosis in the nucleus. A sexual process is known only in very rare cases.

Upon subjection to unfavorable conditions—for instance, insufficient food, cold, or drying of the water body—the amoeba’s body becomes round and the surface of its cytoplasm becomes a dense protective layer; a cyst forms that is resistant to unfavorable effects of the dormant stage. Freshwater amoebas can serve as a water pollution index. Parasitic amoebas live in the intestines of various animals and man. Among these the most harmful is the dysentery amoeba (Entamoeba histolytica), which produces a severe form of amoebic dysentery in man. Infection occurs via cysts, which remain viable outside the human body.


Dogel’, V. A., Iu. I. Polianskii, and E. M. Kheisin. Obshchaia protozoologiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Seravin, L. N. Dvigatel’nye sistemy prosteishikh. Leningrad, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(invertebrate zoology)
A genus of naked, rhizopod protozoans in the order Amoebida characterized by a thin pellicle and thick, irregular pseudopodia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(US), ameba
any protozoan of the phylum Rhizopoda, esp any of the genus Amoeba, able to change shape because of the movements of cell processes (pseudopodia). They live in fresh water or soil or as parasites in man and animals
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(operating system)
A distributed operating system developed by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and others of Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Amoeba is only available under licence from the VUA, but is free of charge and includes all source, binaries and documentation.


(computer, abuse)
A derogatory term for Commodore's Amiga personal computer.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
Investigational drug available directly from CDC for the treatment of infections with free-living amebae. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2013;62:666.
Untested prevention and control strategies for GAE may include (1) consideration of GAE in organ transplant and immunocompromised patients with encephalitis and skin ulcers not improving with standard therapies; (2) recognition of genetic and occupational risk factors for acanthamoebiasis and balamuthiasis in Hispanics, who may be less able to produce antibodies against causative free-living amebae; and (3) recognition of other soil or stagnant freshwater risk factors in both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients with granulomatous skin ulcers and unexplained meningoencephalitis.
However, there is no information on the presence of potentially pathogenic free-living amebae in the region.
* Sarcomastigophora consist of the amebae and flagellates.
pseudotuberculosis bacteria to persist in protozoan amebae (20-22); correlative data indicating plague epizootics temporally follow periods of increased precipitation known to reanimate ameba cysts (5,23,24); the demonstrated ability of Y.
Microbial keratitis is an infection of the cornea caused by bacteria, fungi, amebae, or viruses and can result in vision loss or blindness.
Marciano-Cabral, "Survey for the presence of Naegleria fowleri Amebae in lake water used to cool reactors at a nuclearpower generating plant," Parasitology Research, vol.
It is now known that these different sized amebae are two species.
Its sources and potential relationships with waterborne amebae are unknown.
Infections caused by free-living amebae (FLA) are severe and life-threatening.
Free-living amebae of the genera Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, and Sappinia are rare causes of amebic encephalitis in humans.