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Exp Parasitol. 2001 Oct;99(2):80-8.

Entamoeba histolytica: genetic diversity of clinical isolates from Bangladesh as demonstrated by polymorphisms in the serine-rich gene.

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Department of Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-1340, USA.


The varied organ tropisms and clinical presentations of infection by Entamoeba histolytica have stimulated interest in the role of parasite genetic diversity in virulence. We investigated genetic diversity among 54 E. histolytica isolates from Bangladesh by analyzing polymorphism in the serine-rich gene by nested PCR on DNA extracted from stool and liver aspirate pus. We detected both size and restriction site polymorphisms among the isolates within this endemic area. A combination of the nested PCR results and the AluI digestion of the PCR products examined yielded 25 distinct DNA banding patterns among the 42 stool isolates and an additional 9 distinct patterns among the 12 liver abscess isolates. Approximately half of the isolates had unique polymorphisms. Interestingly, the majority of E. histolytica from the liver had polymorphisms which were not present in intestinal isolates from the same geographic area. These data are consistent with the existence of genetic differences between E. histolytica which cause intestinal and those which cause hepatic disease. We conclude that there is genetic diversity within E. histolytica isolates from an endemic population as reflected in serine-rich E. histolytica protein gene polymorphism. The correlation of genetic differences with the pathogenic potential of E. histolytica strains and the implications of genetic diversity for the immunoprophylaxis of amebiasis require further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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