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Trop Med Int Health. 2004 May;9(5):651-2.

Short communication: Misleading microscopy in amoebiasis.

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Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute/Ethio-Netherlands AIDS Research Project, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


High prevalences of intestinal amoebiasis are commonly reported by microscopy in Ethiopia. In order to confirm the actual occurrence of Entamoeba histolytica we collected 108 stool specimens from different hospitals & health centers from patients in whom haematophagous trophozoites were believed to be found. We detected only a single E. histolytica case while 77 (71.3%) were E. dispar and the remaining 30 samples were negative for both species by real-time PCR based on the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequence of E. histolytica and E. dispar. The tradition of microscopy in a routine diagnostic set-up appears unsatisfactory to reliably differentiate rbc-engulfing amoeba from non-invasive amoeba in wet smears.

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