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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


CHACIN-BONILLA, Leonor. An update on amebiasis. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2013, vol.141, n.5, pp.609-615. ISSN 0034-9887.

The description of Entamoeba dispar, and the recovery of Entamoeba moshkovskii from humans had a major impact in the epidemiology and clinical management of amebiasis. Infections range from asymptomatic colonization to hemorrhagic colitis and extra-intestinal diseases. Only a minority of amebiasis patients progress to the development of disease. Recent studies suggest that susceptibility to infection, and its outcome is influenced by the host, parasite genotype, and environment. The identification of Entamoeba histolytica is based on the detection of specific antigens by ELISA and DNA in stool and other clinical samples. Several diagnostic tests have been developed, including polymerase chain reaction, the technique of choice, for the detection and differentiation of E. histolytica, E. dispar, and E. moshkovskii. Combination of serologic tests with detection of the parasite DNA by PCR or antigen by ELISA offers the best approach to diagnosis. However, these techniques are impractical for clinical laboratories of developing countries. Clinicians must follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization to avoid unnecessary treatments. This review describes and discusses recent advances in amebiasis with emphasis in the clinical aspects and management of infection.

Palabras clave : Amebiasis; Diagnosis; Entamoeba histolytica; Epidemiology; Treatment.

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