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Parasitol Res. 2006 Jan;98(2):106-10. Epub 2005 Nov 12.

Prevalence and genetic diversity of Entamoeba histolytica in an institution for the mentally retarded in the Philippines.

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Institute of Biology, College of Science, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines.


A total of 113 mentally retarded patients residing in a mental institution in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines, were screened for the presence of Entamoeba histolytica based on microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Anti-E. histolytica antibodies were also screened in 97 serum samples collected using immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) test. Parasitological examination showed E. histolytica/Entamoeba dispar in 43 cases (38.05%), while PCR detected 74 cases (65.48%) positive for E. histolytica and 6 cases (5.30%) positive for E. dispar. Interestingly, these 6 samples were coinfected with E. histolytica. IFA test revealed that 80.41% (78/97) of the respondents possessed significant antibody titers for intestinal infection of E. histolytica. Of this number, there were 5 patients negative in IFA test but positive in PCR. The genetic diversity of E. histolytica isolates was also investigated by analyzing polymorphism in the serine-rich gene by nested PCR on DNA directly extracted from stool specimens. A combination of the nested PCR results and the AluI digestion of the PCR products examined yielded six distinct DNA banding patterns among the 74 stool isolates. An apparent clustering of E. histolytica strains was observed in patients living in different residential cottages of the institution. These results indicate the high prevalence of E. histolytica in an institution for the mentally retarded in the Philippines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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