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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-14

Entamoeba dispar: Could it be pathogenic


1 Department of General Pathology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
2 Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
3 Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Marcelo Vidigal Caliari
Departamento de Patologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, CEP 31 270-010
Brazil
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DOI: 10.4103/2229-5070.149887

PMID: 25709947

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Amebiasis is a disease caused by the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. This ameba can colonize the human intestine and persist as a commensal parasite, similar to Entamoeba dispar, an ameba considered to be non-pathogenic. The similarities between E. histolytica and E. dispar make the latter an attractive model for studies aimed at clarifying the pathogenesis of amebiasis. However, in addition to being an interesting experimental model, this relative of E. histolytica remains poorly understood. In the 1990, it was believed that E. dispar was unable to produce significant experimental lesions. This scenario began to change in 1996, when E. dispar strains were isolated from symptomatic patients in Brazil. These strains were able to produce liver and intestinal lesions that were occasionally indistinguishable from those produced by E. histolytica. These and other findings, such as the detection of E. dispar DNA sequences in samples from patients with amebic liver abscess, have revived the possibility that this species can produce lesions in humans. The present paper presents a series of studies on E. dispar that begin to reveal a new facet of this protozoan.


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