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Arch Intern Med. 2005 Feb 28;165(4):409-15.

Invasive amebiasis as an emerging parasitic disease in patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection in Taiwan.

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Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



Whether risk of invasive amebiasis due to Entamoeba histolytica is higher among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons than uninfected persons remains unclear, although intestinal colonization by Entamoeba dispar is common among men who have sex with men. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of invasive amebiasis and intestinal colonization by E histolytica and E dispar in HIV-infected persons and uninfected controls.


We assessed the prevalence of invasive amebiasis by case review of 951 HIV-infected persons and by serologic studies of 634 of the 951 HIV-infected persons, 429 uninfected controls with gastrointestinal symptoms, and 178 uninfected healthy controls using indirect hemagglutination antibody assay. We assessed the rate of intestinal colonization by E histolytica and E dispar by fecal antigen and polymerase chain reaction tests in 332 asymptomatic HIV-infected persons and 144 of the 178 uninfected healthy controls.


Forty-nine (5.2%) of 951 HIV-infected persons had 51 episodes of invasive amebiasis. A high indirect hemagglutination antibody titer was detected in 39 (6.2%) of 634 HIV-infected persons compared with 10 (2.3%) of 429 uninfected controls with gastrointestinal symptoms and 0 of 178 uninfected healthy controls (P<.001). Stool specimens from 40 (12.1%) of 332 HIV-infected persons and 2 (1.4%) of 144 uninfected healthy controls were positive for E histolytica or E dispar antigen (P<.001). Ten (25.0%) of the 40 antigen-positive stool specimens from HIV-infected persons contained E histolytica.


Persons infected with HIV in Taiwan are at increased risk for invasive amebiasis and exhibit a relatively high frequency of elevated antibody titers and intestinal colonization with E histolytica.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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