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PREVALENCE AND SPECIES DISTRIBUTION OF E. HISTOLYTICA AND E. DISPAR IN THE VENDA REGION, LIMPOPO, SOUTH AFRICA

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa; Center for Global Health, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

The prevalence and species distribution of Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar in the Venda region were determined in stool samples collected from public hospitals and primary schools by ELISA and a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). E. histolytica was detected in 37/197 (18.8%) and 1/47 (2.1%) samples, whereas 50/197 (25.3%) and 4/47 (8.5%) had E. dispar in the hospitals and schools, respectively. The age groups most infected were 0–2 (33%) years followed by 20–29 years (27%). E. histolytica was significantly associated with diarrhea (77.4% versus 22.6%; χ2 = 39.48, P < 0.05), and with the presence of lactoferrin (85.7% versus 14.2%) in the stools, indicating intestinal inflammation (χ2 = 29.605, P < 0.05). E. histolytica was found in 5 (16.12%) of the 31 HIV-positive individuals and in 33 (15.5%) of the 213 HIV-negative individuals. E. histolytica infections are common in the Venda region and are associated with diarrhea and intestinal inflammation.

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