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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1991 Dec;49(2):297-302.

Ribosomal RNA genes of 'pathogenic' and 'nonpathogenic' Entamoeba histolytica are distinct.

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Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Most infections with Entamoeba histolytica are asymptomatic. Two forms of the organism can be distinguished biochemically, and this finding has been explained by two distinct hypotheses: (1) there are two morphologically indistinguishable species, one of which causes disease; (2) there is one species which exists in two interconvertible forms, one of which causes disease. Knowledge of which hypothesis is correct has major implications for evaluation and treatment of carriers. We have studied the ribosomal RNA genes of the two forms hypothesizing that, if E. histolytica is one species, there should be no differences between them. We have found that the ribosomal RNA genes of the two forms are quite distinct, which supports the hypothesis that E. histolytica is two species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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