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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2000 Apr;94(3):233-40.

A nested, multiplex, PCR assay for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar in faeces.

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National School of Public Health, Department of Parasitology, Entomology and Tropical Diseases, Athens, Greece.


The detection of and differentiation between Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar are of great importance, both for diagnosis and for epidemiological studies. Most PCR-based methods for the discrimination of these two species employ complex procedures for DNA extraction and require different protocols for E. histolytica and E. dispar, leading to relatively high expenditure, labour costs and turnaround times. A simple, rapid, cost-effective and yet sensitive and specific multiplex PCR technique has now been developed for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of E. histolytica and E. dispar in faecal samples. The detection limit is 200 trophozoites of E. dispar or 1000 trophozoites of E. histolytica/g stool sample. The sensitivity of the assay remains practically unchanged, even in the presence of 20,000 trophozoites of the other species/g stool sample. Thus, this technique may also easily reveal mixed infections, without the danger of misdiagnosis caused by one strain displacing the other in culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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