Entamoeba moshkovskii infections in Sydney, Australia

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Journal Article
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 2008, 27 (2), pp. 133 - 137
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Entamoeba moshkovskii is considered to be a free-living ameba, which is morphologically similar, but biochemically and genetically different, to Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar. However, recent studies have suggested that E. moshkovskii may be a "potential" pathogen, with infections giving rise to diarrhea and other intestinal disorders. Microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 18S ribosomal (r) DNA was performed on fecal samples collected from patients presenting with diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders (test group), as well as fecal samples collected from healthy controls (control group). Of the 110 patients microscopically positive for the Entamoeba species, 55/110 (50%) samples were positive for E. moshkovskii in the test group of patients presenting with diarrhea. E. moshkovskii was the only pathogen detected (including bacteria or viruses) in 3/55 (5.5%) of the test group of patients presenting with diarrhea and abdominal pain. The DNA of E. moshkovskii was not detected in the fecal samples collected from the healthy controls. These results suggest that E. moshkovskii may not simply be a commensal of the human gastrointestinal tract and provides evidence for E. moshkovskii as a "potential" pathogen in the case of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders. Further studies are needed to determine the role of E. moshkovskii in causing diarrheal diseases in our population. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.
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