Author(s): Mirelman D, Bracha R, Chayen A, AustKettis A, Diamond LS
Abstract Share this page
Abstract In xenic culture, isolates of Entamoeba histolytica from asymptomatic carriers are characterized, with rare exception, by possession of a nonpathogenic zymodeme. During the process of axenizing such an isolate, strain CDC:0784:4, a change in the pattern of the isoenzymes from nonpathogenic zymodeme I to pathogenic zymodeme II was observed 40 days after the amebae had been transferred from a medium for xenic cultivation to one used for axenic cultivation, but before axenization of the amebae had actually occurred. Axenization was accomplished by feeding the amebae lethally irradiated bacteria while suppressing and finally eradicating with antibiotics the bacterial flora accompanying the amebae in the original xenic culture. The change in zymodeme was accompanied by a change in virulence as evidenced by the ability of the amebae to produce hepatic abscesses in hamsters and to destroy monolayers of tissue culture cells. Two explanations are offered for the observed changes in zymodeme and virulence: a zymodeme is not a stable inherent property of the ameba. Alternatively, the original isolate consisted of two zymodeme populations and the conditions of growth selected for one or the other of the populations. In either case, our results suggest that the finding of a particular zymodeme in a culture of E. histolytica isolated from an asymptomatic carrier of the parasite cannot be used to predict a clinical condition or serve as a basis for the recommendation of therapy.
This article was published in Exp Parasitol
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy