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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Jul;67(3):239-45. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2010.02.016. Epub 2010 May 11.

Evaluation of a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for the detection of Dientamoeba fragilis.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Section of Microbiology, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy.


The diagnostic value of a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the 5.8S rDNA of Dientamoeba fragilis was investigated as compared with conventional parasitologic methods including cultivation testing 959 fecal samples from 491 patients attending a tertiary-care hospital and suspected of having an intestinal parasitosis. The real-time PCR assay revealed 117 additional D. fragilis-positive samples as compared with conventional methods, showing 100% sensitivity and specificity in our experience. On the whole, D. fragilis infection was detected in 186 samples from 105 patients (21.4%, third in frequency among the diagnosed intestinal parasitoses). The evaluated real-time PCR assay represents an effective tool to obtain both an accurate diagnosis and a reliable epidemiologic picture of dientamoebiasis.

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