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Exp Parasitol. 2008 Mar;118(3):354-61. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Entamoeba histolytica: genetic diversity of African strains based on the polymorphism of the serine-rich protein gene.

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  • 1AIDS Virus Research Laboratory, Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology, Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, Private bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, Limpopo Province, South Africa. <>


The polymorphism of the serine-rich Entamoeba histolytica protein (SREHP) among isolates obtained from different geographic regions was analyzed by a nested PCR followed by restriction analysis. Thirteen different profiles were generated from 23 E. histolytica isolates from Cameroon, Zimbabwe and South Africa while 20 others were generated from 38 E. histolytica PCR positive stool samples from South Africa. One of the profiles was common to isolates from Cameroon, Zimbabwe and South Africa and constituted the most prevalent (26.1%) of all the profiles. However, profiles unique to each country were also observed amongst the samples. A non-significant difference was observed between isolates from diarrheic and non-diarrheic samples. Of interest, of the five HIV positive stool samples three had the same profile indicating the possibility that some E. histolytica strains might be more common/pathogenic in immuno-compromised individuals. The results obtained showed that African isolates of E. histolytica may possess extremely complex genetic structures independent of geographic location. This study indicates that certain profiles might be responsible for the presentation of intestinal amoebic symptoms. However, more extended studies need to be performed in order to confirm these observations.

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