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Primates. 2010 Jan;51(1):69-74. doi: 10.1007/s10329-009-0174-x. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar infections in captive macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in the Philippines.

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


Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that infects man and animals. This parasite has a global distribution and the disease it causes is usually characterized by diarrhea. In order to detect the parasite, it is necessary to differentiate it from Entamoeba dispar. E. dispar appears morphologically similar to E. histolytica but does not cause disease and tissue invasion. This study reports on the prevalence of E. histolytica and E. dispar among captive macaques in a primate facility in the Philippines. PCR was used to correctly identify both Entamoeba species. Indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) was also performed to determine the seroprevalence of amebiasis in the captive macaques. Based on PCR targeting of the peroxiredoxin gene, of the 96 stool samples collected, 23 (24%) contained E. histolytica while 32 (33%) contained E. dispar. IFAT revealed 26 (27%) serum samples positive for antibodies against E. histolytica. Sequence analysis of the 18S rRNA gene showed that the 23 E. histolytica isolates were identical to human E. histolytica isolates deposited in the GenBank and not Entamoeba nuttalli as found in macaques in other recent reports. The Philippines is a major exporter of monkeys for biomedical research purposes, so screening animals before transporting them to other locations lessens the risk of spreading zoonoses to a wider area. This is the first report of the molecular detection of E. histolytica and E. dispar among macaques in the Philippines. This study complements the limited information available on the animal hosts of E. histolytica in the Philippines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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