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Parasitol Res. 2009 Oct;105(4):1053-60. doi: 10.1007/s00436-009-1515-9. Epub 2009 Jun 19.

Genetic diversity of Dientamoeba fragilis isolates of irritable bowel syndrome patients by high-resolution melting-curve (HRM) analysis.

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Parasitology Department, Suez Canal University, P.O. Box 41152, Ismailia, Egypt.


Dientamoeba fragilis is a parasite that has been recognized as a causative agent of gastrointestinal symptoms. The search for genetic variation in D. fragilis based on the small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene using restriction fragment length polymorphism was found not useful for molecular epidemiology. In this study, genetic variability of different clinical isolates of D. fragilis was explored by high-resolution melting curve (HRM) following polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in a one-step closed-tube method. Thirty fecal samples from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients having D. fragilis trophozoites and negative for other organisms were involved in this study. According to the type of diarrhea, eight patients had acute, 14 patients had chronic intermittent, and eight patients had diarrhea alternating with constipation. HRM proved that four profiles (subtypes) were present as detecting by scanning mutation. One of these profiles (profile 1) was predominant (50%). Profile 2 was present on 20%. Profiles 3 and 4 were present on 16.7% and 13.4%, respectively. No mixed profiles were detected among the samples. The melting curves characterized by T(m)1=77.17+/-0.29 degrees C in profile 1, T(m)1=77.37+/-1.45 degrees C in profile 2, T(m)1=74.24+/-0.08 degrees C and T(m)2=79.64+/-0.09 degrees C in profile 3, and T(m)1=75.51 +/- 0.09 degrees C and T(m)=79.42 +/- 0.09 degrees C in profile 4. The relation between these profiles and types of diarrhea proved that the majority of patients having profile 1 (73.4%) and profile 4 (75%) had chronic intermittent diarrhea. All of the patients having profile 2 had acute diarrhea while all of the patients having profile 3 had diarrhea alternating with constipation. Although profile 1 was detected among all types of diarrhea, it was corresponding to 11/14 of patients with chronic intermittent diarrhea. All the differences were clinically and statistically significant. In conclusion, HRM following PCR was proved as a wide variation on D. fragilis genotypes that could be related to the characters of diarrhea among IBS patients. As the differences in HRM reflect different sequences of SSU RNA gene, thus, another study for identifying the sequences of these isolates (profiles) will be done and published later.

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