Dientamoeba fragilis, the neglected trichomonad of the human bowel

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 2016, 29 (3), pp. 553 - 580
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© 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Dientamoeba fragilis is a protozoan parasite of the human bowel, commonly reported throughout the world in association with gastrointestinal symptoms. Despite its initial discovery over 100 years ago, arguably, we know less about this peculiar organism than any other pathogenic or potentially pathogenic protozoan that infects humans. The details of its life cycle and mode of transmission are not completely known, and its potential as a human pathogen is debated within the scientific community. Recently, several major advances have been made with respect to this organism’s life cycle and molecular biology. While many questions remain unanswered, these and other recent advances have given rise to some intriguing new leads, which will pave the way for future research. This review encompasses a large body of knowledge generated on various aspects of D. fragilis over the last century, together with an update on the most recent developments. This includes an update on the latest diagnostic techniques and treatments, the clinical aspects of dientamoebiasis, the development of an animal model, the description of a D. fragilis cyst stage, and the sequencing of the first D. fragilis transcriptome.
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