Author(s): Troll H, Marti H, Weiss N
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Amoebiasis is caused by two distinct species, a pathogenic form (Entamoeba histolytica) and a nonpathogenic form (Entamoeba dispar), which are morphologically identical. Although the distinction between these two species is of great clinical importance, the methods developed for this purpose either are very time-consuming or involve laborious procedures for isolation of the DNA. We report here a simple PCR method starting with fresh stool specimen that allows for the sensitive and reliable distinction between E. histolytica and E. dispar. After initial concentration by the sodium acetate-acetic acid-formalin (SAF) method and digestion with proteinase K, a 0.88-kb sequence of the multicopy 16S rRNA gene served as a target for PCR amplification. The method starting with unpreserved specimens proved to be very sensitive and was not influenced by the quick exposure to SAF fixative during the initial concentration step. However, storage in SAF fixative prior to testing resulted in a decreased sensitivity within 2 days. The detection limit of the method was as low as one copy of the 16S rRNA gene. No cross-reactivity was observed with other common intestinal protozoa. Mixed infections involving both E. histolytica and E. dispar could easily be detected at a ratio of 1:10,000 by agarose gel electrophoresis or a DNA hybridization immunoassay.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry