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Trends Parasitol. 2006 Feb;22(2):92-6. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Dientamoebiasis: clinical importance and recent advances.

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  • 1St Vincent's Hospital, Department of Microbiology, Sydney, New South Wales 2010, Australia.


Dientamoeba fragilis, an unusual single-celled parasite that was described first in 1918, is found worldwide in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. D. fragilis has emerged from obscurity recently because it is now recognized as a common cause of chronic diarrhoea and is treatable with drugs. Recent molecular studies have described D. fragilis as having two genotypes. Diagnostic tests, based on conventional and real-time PCR, have been developed that will provide a rapid, sensitive and specific diagnosis of D. fragilis. These tests will also aid the elucidation of the host distribution and the life cycle of this pathogen.

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