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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Oct;32(10):1303-10. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-1880-2. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Dientamoeba fragilis in Denmark: epidemiological experience derived from four years of routine real-time PCR.

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Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Microbiology and Infection Control, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, 2300, Copenhagen S, Denmark,


The intestinal protozoon Dientamoeba fragilis remains a clinical entity of dubious significance. While several previous studies address questions of epidemiology, only a handful have systematically employed and reported on the results from real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), the best currently available diagnostic modality, and the comparison of results from different studies is, therefore, difficult. Since 2007, Statens Serum Institut (Denmark) has utilised qPCR for D. fragilis as routine diagnostic work-up for intestinal parasitosis, testing more than 22,000 samples from 2008 through 2011, and the aim of this study was to report on the results and experiences gained in the process. We demonstrate a staggeringly high proportion (43%) of investigated patients positive for D. fragilis, ranging from 12 to 71% depending on age group, showing a bimodal age distribution peaking in children and adults of parental age, as well as a clear association between exposure to children and risk of D. fragilis infection. We discuss these findings in light of the pinworm egg vector hypothesis and substantiate further our knowledge of risk factors pertaining to D. fragilis carriage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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