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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jun 15;183(12):1787-93. Epub 2001 May 15.

Amebiasis and mucosal IgA antibody against the Entamoeba histolytica adherence lectin in Bangladeshi children.

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Centre for Health and Population Research, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Amebiasis is the third leading parasitic cause of death worldwide, and it is not known whether immunity is acquired from a previous infection. An investigation was done to determine whether protection from intestinal infection correlated with mucosal or systemic antibody responses to the Entamoeba histolytica GalNAc adherence lectin. E. histolytica colonization was present in 0% (0/64) of children with and 13.4% (33/246) of children without stool IgA anti-GalNAc lectin antibodies (P= .001). Children with stool IgA lectin-specific antibodies at the beginning of the study had 64% fewer new E. histolytica infections by 5 months (3/42 IgA(+) vs. 47/227 IgA(-); P= .03). A stool antilectin IgA response was detected near the time of resolution of infection in 67% (12/18) of closely monitored new infections. It was concluded that a mucosal IgA antilectin antibody response is associated with immune protection against E. histolytica colonization. The demonstration of naturally acquired immunity offers hope for a vaccine to prevent amebiasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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