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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1105-1120; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031105

Human Amebiasis: Breaking the Paradigm?

Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, 04510, Mexico
Department of Zoology, ENCB, National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), México City, 11340, Mexico
Department of Morphology, Laboratory of Parasitology, Federal University of Sergipe, Aracaju, Sergipe, 49100-000, Brazil
Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis, (CINVESTAV), Mexico City, 07360, Mexico
Department of Chemistry and Biological Science, University of Sonora (UNISON), Hermosillo, Sonora, 83000, Mexico
Department of Parasitology, Institute for Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, 31270-901, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2009 / Revised: 2 February 2010 / Accepted: 8 March 2010 / Published: 16 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [464 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


For over 30 years it has been established that the Entamoeba histolytica protozoan included two biologically and genetically different species, one with a pathogenic phenotype called E. histolytica and the other with a non-pathogenic phenotype called Entamoeba dispar. Both of these amoebae species can infect humans. E. histolytica has been considered as a potential pathogen that can cause serious damage to the large intestine (colitis, dysentery) and other extraintestinal organs, mainly the liver (amebic liver abscess), whereas E. dispar is a species that interacts with humans in a commensal relationship, causing no symptoms or any tissue damage. This paradigm, however, should be reconsidered or re-evaluated. In the present work, we report the detection and genotyping of E. dispar sequences of DNA obtained from patients with amebic liver abscesses, including the genotyping of an isolate obtained from a Brazilian patient with a clinical diagnosis of intestinal amebiasis that was previously characterized as an E. dispar species. The genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis performed by our group has shown the existence of several different genotypes of E. dispar that can be associated to, or be potentiality responsible for intestinal or liver tissue damage, similar to that observed with E. histolytica. View Full-Text
Keywords: human amebiasis; E. histolytica; E. dispar;genetic diversity; phylogeny human amebiasis; E. histolytica; E. dispar;genetic diversity; phylogeny

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ximénez, C.; Cerritos, R.; Rojas, L.; Dolabella, S.; Morán, P.; Shibayama, M.; González, E.; Valadez, A.; Hernández, E.; Valenzuela, O.; Limón, A.; Partida, O.; Silva, E.F. Human Amebiasis: Breaking the Paradigm? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 1105-1120.

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