Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar are distinct species; clinical, epidemiological and serological evidence.
Amoebiasis Research Programme, South African Medical Research Council, Congella, Durban. email@example.com
The name of the causative organism of invasive amoebiasis, Entamoeba histolytica, was first introduced in 1903, even though this intestinal amoeba had been recognised since 1875. The marked disparity between the number of infected individuals and those with invasive amoebiasis resulted in a number of explanatory hypotheses being proposed. Although none of these were universally accepted, Brumpt's concept of two morphologically identical species gained increasing acceptance 50-60 years later when technology became available to investigate this anomaly. Sargeaunt spear-headed this drive by establishing the value of isoenzyme electrophoresis for studying the host-parasite relationship. From this foundation, incorporation of clinical, epidemiological and serological parameters to studies of the parasite resulted in the conclusion that a species complex comprising two morphologically identical amoebae was implicated with the disease. The two organisms have been named E. histolytica and Entamoeba dispar. The former is a pathogen and is responsible for invasive amoebiasis, while the latter is a gut commensal. Demonstration of the existence of this species complex has subsequently been confirmed by studies on the nucleic acids from several independent laboratories. The acceptance of E. histolytica and E. dispar as distinct species has had a major impact on our understanding of amoebiasis and its clinical management.
HLA class II antigens are associated with resistance or susceptibility to hepatosplenic disease in a Chinese population infected with Schistosoma japonicum.
Waine GJ. Ross AG. Williams GM. Sleigh AC. McManus DP.
Molecular Parasitology Unit, PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Qld, Australia. garyW@qimr.edu.au
The major histocompatibility Class II alleles of 108 individuals living in an area endemic for schistosomiasis japonica in China were determined to identify possible immunogenetic associations with advanced schistosomiasis. Two alleles, HLA-DRB1*1202 (P = 0.002) and HLA-DQA*0601 (P = 0.001) were strongly associated with resistance to advanced disease. In contrast, HLA-DQB1*05031 (P = 0.02) was associated with susceptibility to advanced schistosomiasis. The remaining alleles showed no association with advanced disease. Allele DRB1*1202 co-occurred with allele DQA1*0601; therefore, their independent protective effects could not be ascertained. In contrast, alleles DQA1*0601 and DQB1*05031 never co-occurred and had opposite and significant effects on the occurrence of disease.
First report of the isolation of an adult worm of the genus Brachylaima (Digenea: Brachylaimidae), from the gastrointestinal tract of a human.
Butcher AR. Parasuramar P. Thompson CS. Grove DI.
Infectious Diseases Laboratories, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
A 78-year-old woman presented with an 18-month history of intermittent diarrhoea. Examination of her stools revealed brachylaimid eggs, which were present in three separate specimens over a week. After treatment with praziquantel a degenerate adult Brachylaima species was recovered from her faeces. She lived in a rural area of South Australia and ate vegetables grown in her own garden which had been infested with helicid snails. In south Australia these introduced European helicid snails are commonly infected with brachylaimid intermediate larval stages and are considered to be the source of the human infection.