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Exp Parasitol. 2002 Jun-Jul;101(2-3):157-63.

Entamoeba histolytica: sequence conservation of the Gal/GalNAc lectin from clinical isolates.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908-1340, USA.


The Gal/GalNAc lectin gene of Entamoeba histolytica is a major amebic virulence protein responsible for interaction with host tissues. We investigated sequence differences in the Gal/GalNAc lectin heavy subunit in three isolates from Bangladesh and one isolate from Georgia, each of which was determined to be genetically distinct by SREHP AluI digestion. Interestingly, we observed only slight genetic diversity in the lectin gene as compared with the HM1:IMSS laboratory strain, originally a clinical isolate from Mexico. Genetic conservation of the Gal/GalNAc lectin between isolates may reflect that the lectin is under strong functional selection or possibly, that E. histolytica is a clonal population. Sequence conservation of the lectin indicates that immune responses against it should be cross-protective.

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