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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 1993 May-Jun;40(3):340-4.

A redescription of Entamoeba histolytica Schaudinn, 1903 (Emended Walker, 1911) separating it from Entamoeba dispar Brumpt, 1925.

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


Explaining the low incidence of invasive disease (10%) in humans infected with Entamoeba histolytica has occupied the attention of generations of both clinical and nonclinical investigators. One possible explanation would be the existence of two morphologically identical species-one an invasive pathogen, the other noninvasive. This was first proposed by Brumpt in 1925, but his explanation was virtually ignored until 1978 when the first of several publications appeared suggesting that E. histolytica did indeed consist of two species. We have reexamined Brumpt's claim in light of recent biochemical, immunological and genetic studies and conclude that the data derived from these investigations provide unequivocal evidence supporting his hypothesis. With this in mind, we redescribe the invasive parasite retaining the name Entamoeba histolytica Schaudinn, 1903 (Emended Walker, 1911), and set it apart from the noninvasive parasite described by Brumpt, Entamoeba dispar Brumpt, 1925.

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