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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jun 15;187(12):1860-9. Epub 2003 Jun 4.

Genotyping of Entamoeba species in South Africa: diversity, stability, and transmission patterns within families.

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  • 1Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


Using a recently described polymerase chain reaction-based DNA typing method for Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar, we investigated the genetic diversity of these species in a geographically restricted region of South Africa. Patterns were stable over time in the same infection, and, with few exceptions, infected family members carried the same strain. However, both species exhibited remarkable variation, with no 2 family groups being infected with the same strain of E. histolytica. Mixed infections were rare. The results indicate that this typing method will be useful in identifying epidemiological linkage between infections.

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