Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
In This Section

Acta Parasitologica

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 1.160
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.185

CiteScore 2016: 1.24

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.581
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.780

See all formats and pricing
In This Section
Volume 58, Issue 2 (Jun 2013)


Differential detection of Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar and Entamoeba moshkovskii in fecal samples by nested PCR in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Ali ElBakri
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
  • Email:
/ Amidou Samie
  • Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
  • Email:
/ Sinda Ezzedine
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
  • Email:
/ Raed Odeh
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
  • Email:
Published Online: 2013-05-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-013-0128-8


Amoebiasis is one of the most important infectious diseases afflicting mainly tropical and subtropical countries. This study was carried out in the Sharjah Emirate, UAE in order to accurately detect and differentiate Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar and E. moshkovskii in fecal samples collected from the Sharjah municipality public health clinic by ELISA and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One hundred and twenty specimens were examined and the PCR was positive for E. histolytica, E. dispar and E. moshkovskii (collectively referred to as Entamoeba complex) in 19.2% (23 out of 120). Of those, 10% (12/120) were mono — infection with E. histolytica; 2.5% (3/120) with E. dispar; and 2.5% (3/120) E. moshkovskii. The nested PCR also detected mixed infections by both E. histolytica and E. dispar in 3.3% (4/120) and E. dispar and E. moshkovskii in 0.8% (1/120). The TechLab ELISA kit failed to detect E. histolytica in any of the E. histolytica PCR positive samples. Overall, the percentage of E. histolytica including those found in mixed infections was 13.3% (16/120). Compared to nested PCR, microscopy was found to have an overall sensitivity of 52.2% and a specificity of 75.2% for detection of Entamoeba complex. The present study indicates that E. histolytica is present in the UAE with an average incidence rate of 13.3%. However, larger studies need to be conducted in order to confirm these findings. We propose the use of PCR in both the routine diagnosis of amoebiasis and epidemiological survey in the UAE.

Keywords: Diarrhea; Entamoeba; epidemiology; Sharjah

  • [1] Ackers J. 2002. The diagnostic implications of the separation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar. Journal of Biosciences, 27, 573–578. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02704850

  • [2] Al-Harthi S.A., Jamjoom M.B. 2007. Enteroparasitic occurrence in stools from residents in Southwestern region of Saudi Arabia before and during Umrah season. Saudi Medical Journal, 28, 386–389.

  • [3] Ali I.K., Clark C.G., Petri W.A., Jr. 2008. Molecular epidemiology of amebiasis. Infectious Genetics and Evolution, 8, 698–707. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2008.05.004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2008.05.004 [Crossref]

  • [4] Ali I.K., Hossain M.B., Roy S., Ayeh-Kumi P.F., Petri W.A. Jr., Haque R., Clark C.G. 2003. Entamoeba moshkovskii infections in children, Bangladesh. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 9, 580–584. DOI: 10.3201/eid0905.020548. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid0905.020548 [Crossref] [Web of Science]

  • [5] Barnawi A.B., Tonkal A.M., Fouad M.A., Al-Braiken F.A. 2007. Detection of Entamoeba histolytica/dispar in stool specimens by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the population of Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Egyptian Society of Parasitology, 37, 143–150.

  • [6] Beck D.L., Tanyuksel M., Mackey A.J., Haque R., Trapaidze N., Pearson W.R., Loftus B., Petri WA. 2002. Entamoeba histolytica: sequence conservation of the Gal/galNAc lectin from clinical isolates. Experimental Parasitolology, 101, 157–163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0014-4894(02)00113-3

  • [7] Blessmann J., Ali I.K., Nu P.A., Dinh B.T., Viet T.Q., Van A.L., Clark C.G., Tannich E. 2003. Longitudinal study of intestinal Entamoeba histolytica infections in asymptomatic adult carriers. Journal Clinical Microbiology, 41, 4745–4750. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.41.10.4745-4750.2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.41.10.4745-4750.2003 [Crossref]

  • [8] Dash N., Al-Zarouni M., Anwar K., Panigrahi D. 2010. Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Human Parasitic Diseases, 2, 21–24. DOI: 10.41 37/HPD.S5081. http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/HPD.S5081 [Crossref]

  • [9] Fotedar R., Stark D., Beebe N., Marriott D., Ellis J., Harkness J. 2007. Laboratory diagnostic techniques for Entamoeba species. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 20, 511–532. DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00004-07. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CMR.00004-07 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [10] Gatti S., Swierczynski G., Robinson F., Anselmi M., Corrales J., Moreira J., Montalvo G., Bruno A., Maserati R., Bisoffi Z., Scaglia M. 2002. Amebic infections due to the Entamoeba histolytica-Entamoeba dispar complex: a study of the incidence in a remote rural area of Ecuador. American Journal of Tropical Medicine Hygiene, 67, 123–127.

  • [11] Gonin P., Trudel L. 2003. Detection and differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar isolates in clinical samples by PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41, 237–241. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.41.1.237-241.2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.41.1.237-241.2003 [Crossref]

  • [12] Gutierrez-Cisneros M.J., Cogollos R., Lopez-Velez R., Martin-Rabadan P., Martinez-Ruiz R., Subirtas M., Merino F.J., Fuentes I. 2010. Application of real-time PCR for the differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar in cystpositive faecal samples from 130 immigrants living in Spain. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 104, 145–149. DOI:10.1179/136485910X12607012373759. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/136485910X12607012373759 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [13] Haque R., Ali I.K., Akther S., Petri W.A., Jr. 1998. Comparison of PCR, isoenzyme analysis, and antigen detection for diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica infection. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 36, 449–452.

  • [14] Haque R., Faruque A.S., Hahn P., Lyerly D.M., Petri W.A., Jr. 1997. Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar infection in children in Bangladesh. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 175, 734–736. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/175.3.734. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/175.3.734 [Crossref]

  • [15] Haque R., Kabir M., Noor Z., Rahman S.M., Mondal D., Alam F., Rahman I., AlMahmood A., Ahmed N., Petri W.A., Jr. 2010. Diagnosis of amebic liver abscess and amebic colitis by detection of Entamoeba histolytica DNA in blood, urine, and saliva by a real-time PCR assay. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 48, 2798–2801. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.00152-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00152-10 [Crossref]

  • [16] Haque R., Mondal D., Kirkpatrick B.D., Akther S., Farr B.M., Sack R.B., Petri W.A., Jr. 2003. Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of acute diarrhea with emphasis on Entamoeba histolytica infections in preschool children in an urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 69, 398–405.

  • [17] Haque R., Neville L.M., Hahn P., Petri W.A., Jr. 1995. Rapid diagnosis of Entamoeba infection by using Entamoeba and Entamoeba histolytica stool antigen detection kits. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 33, 2558–2561.

  • [18] Kebede A., Verweij J.J., Petros B., Polderman A.M. 2004. Short communication: Misleading microscopy in amoebiasis. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 9, 651–652. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01236.x. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01236.x [Crossref]

  • [19] Khairnar K., Parija S.C. 2007. A novel nested multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for differential detection of Entamoeba histolytica, E. moshkovskii and E. dispar DNA in stool samples. BMC Microbiology, 7, 47–55. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-7-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-7-47 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [20] López C., Salazar L., Urroz L., Anderson M. 1991. Diagnostic certainty in intestinal amebiasis in Managua. Revista Cubana Medicina Tropical, 43, 80–84.

  • [21] Mirelmann D., Nuchamowitz Y., Stolarsky T. 1997. Comparison of use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based kits and PCR amplification of rRNA genes for simultaneous detection of Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 35, 2405–2407.

  • [22] Mortimer L., Chadee K. 2010. The immunopathogenesis of Entamoeba histolytica. Experimental Parasitology, 126, 366–380. DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2010.03.005. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2010.03.005 [Crossref]

  • [23] Nunez Y.O., Fernandez M.A., Torres-Nunez D., Silva J.A., Montano I., Maestre J.L., Fonte L. 2001. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction amplification and differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar DNA from stool samples. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 64, 293–297.

  • [24] Othman N. Mohamed Z., Verweij Huat L.B., Olivios-Garcia A., Yeng C., Noordin R. 2010. Application of real-time polymerase chain reaction in detection of Entamoeba histolytica in pus aspirates of liver abscess patients. Foodborne Pathogenic Diseases, 7, 637–641 DOI: 10.1089/fpd.2009.0427. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/fpd.2009.0427 [Crossref]

  • [25] Parija S.C., Khairnar K. 2005. Entamoeba moshkovskii and Entamoeba dispar-associated infections in pondicherry, India. Journal of Health Population Nutrition, 23, 292–295.

  • [26] Parija S.C., Prabhakar P.K. 1995. Evaluation of lacto-phenol cotton blue for wet mount preparation of feces. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 33, 1019–1021.

  • [27] Paul J., Srivastava S., Bhattacharya S. 2007. Molecular methods for diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica in a clinical setting: an overview. Experimental Parasitolology, 116, 35–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2006.11.005. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2006.11.005

  • [28] Ravdin J.I. 1995. Amebiasis. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 20, 1453–1464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clinids/20.6.1453

  • [29] Shimokawa C., Kabir M., Taniuchi M., Mondal D., Kobayashi S., Ali I.K., Sobuz S.U., Senba M., Houpt E., Haque R., Petri W.A. Jr., Hamano S. 2012. Entamoeba moshkovskii is associated with diarhea in infants and causes diarhea and colitis in mice. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 206, 744–751. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jis414. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jis414 [Crossref] [Web of Science]

  • [30] Solaymani-Mohammadi S., Rezaian M., Babaei Z., Rajabpour A., Meamar A.R., Pourbabai A.A., Petri W.A. Jr. 2006. Comparison of a stool antigen detection kit and PCR for diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar infections in asymptomatic cyst passers in Iran. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 44, 2258–2261. DOI: 10.1128/JCM. 00530-06. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00530-06 [Crossref]

  • [31] Stark D., van Hal S., Fotedar R., Butcher A., Marriott D., Ellis J., Harkness J. 2008. Comparison of stool antigen detection kits to PCR for diagnosis of amebiasis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 46, 1678–1681. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.02261-07. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.02261-07 [Crossref]

  • [32] Tanyuksel M., Petri W.A. Jr. 2003. Laboratory diagnosis of amebiasis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 16, 713–729. DOI: 10.1128/CMR.16.4.713-729.2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CMR.16.4.713-729.2003 [Crossref]

  • [33] Visser L.G., Verweij J.J., Van Esbroeck M., Edeling W.M., Clerinx J., Polderman A.M. 2006. Diagnostic methods for differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar in carriers: performance and clinical implications in a non-endemic setting. International Journal of Medical Microbiology, 296, 397–403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmm.2006.03.001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmm.2006.03.001

  • [34] W.H.O. 1997. Amoebiasis. Weekly Epidemiological Record, 72, 97–99.

  • [35] Walsh J.A. 1986. Problems in recognition and diagnosis of amebiasis: estimation of the global magnitude of morbidity and mortality. Reviews of Infectious Diseases, 8, 228–238. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clinids/8.2.228

About the article

Published Online: 2013-05-11

Published in Print: 2013-06-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-013-0128-8. Export Citation

© 2013 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Ibne Karim M. Ali
Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, 2015, Volume 35, Number 2, Page 393
Gustavo A. Fontecha, Kimberly García, María Mercedes Rueda, Wilfredo Sosa-Ochoa, Ana Lourdes Sánchez, and Byron Leiva
Experimental Parasitology, 2015, Volume 151-152, Page 80

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in