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J Clin Microbiol. 2005 May;43(5):2168-72.

Real-time-PCR assay for diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica infection.

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International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh.


We developed a real-time-PCR assay utilizing a molecular-beacon probe for the detection of Entamoeba histolytica and compared its sensitivity to stool antigen detection and traditional PCR. A total of 205 stool and liver abscess pus specimens from patients and controls were used for this purpose, 101 (49%) of which were positive by the TechLab E. histolytica-specific antigen detection test, while the other 104 (51%) stool and liver abscess pus specimens were negative by the antigen detection test. DNA was extracted from the stool and liver abscess pus specimens by the QIAGEN method and the small-subunit rRNA gene of E. histolytica and then amplified by traditional and real-time PCR. Out of these 205 stool and liver abscess pus specimens, 124 were positive by the real-time-PCR assay and 90 were positive by the traditional-PCR test. Compared to the real-time-PCR assay, the antigen detection test was 79% sensitive and 96% specific. When the traditional-PCR test results were compared to the real-time-PCR assay, the sensitivity of traditional PCR was 72% and the specificity was 99%. In conclusion, all three methods for the detection of E. histolytica were highly specific, with real-time PCR being the most sensitive.

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