Comparison of antigen-capture ELISA to stool-culture methods for the detection of asymptomatic Entamoeba species infection in Kafer Daoud, Egypt

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2000 May;62(5):579-82. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2000.62.579.


We performed a prospective field study in the village of Kafer Daoud in Menofia, Egypt to compare the fecal culture method with enzyme linked immuno assay (ELISA) for detection of 170 kDa lectin antigen in feces for diagnosis of asymptomatic Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar infection. All subjects with E. histolytica or E. dispar infection detected by culture also had positive ELISA for amebic antigen in their feces and an additional 57 Entameoba infections missed by culture were detected by ELISA (P < 0.001 compared to culture). The presence of fecal anti-lectin IgA antibodies and serum anti-LC3 (recombinant cysteine-rich lectin protein) IgG antibodies were positive predictors for E. histolytica infection (P < 0.03). Of interest, infection with Trichomonas hominis but not Blastocystis hominis was positively associated with E. histolytica infection (P < 0.05). In conclusion, ELISA for detection of fecal lectin antigen is a more sensitive method than fecal culture for detecting asymptomatic E. histolytica infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / analysis*
  • Child
  • Culture Media
  • Egypt
  • Entamoeba / immunology
  • Entamoeba / isolation & purification*
  • Entamoeba histolytica / immunology
  • Entamoeba histolytica / isolation & purification
  • Entamoebiasis / diagnosis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Feces / parasitology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lectins / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Culture Media
  • Lectins