Entamoeba histolytica infections in captive primates

Parasitol Res. 2003 Jun;90(2):100-3. doi: 10.1007/s00436-002-0808-z. Epub 2003 Feb 7.


A group based survey on the presence of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar using real-time PCR among 20 species of captive non-human primates was performed after diagnosis of E. histolytica dysentery in a spider monkey ( Ateles belzebuth hybridus). E. histolytica DNA was detected in three species of New World primates and in three species of Old World primates. In five of six E. histolytica isolates, it was possible to amplify the SREHP gene. They all revealed the same pattern after AluI digestion, indicating a common source of infection. E. dispar DNA was detected in two species of New World monkeys and three species of Old World monkeys. The results demonstrate that E. histolytica is capable of causing symptomatic and non-symptomatic infections in Old World and New World non-human primates. To our knowledge, this is the first report of E. histolytica sensu stricto in non-human primates after the redescription separating it from E. dispar in 1993.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cebidae / parasitology*
  • Cercopithecidae / parasitology*
  • Entamoeba / genetics
  • Entamoeba / isolation & purification
  • Entamoeba histolytica / genetics
  • Entamoeba histolytica / isolation & purification*
  • Entamoebiasis / epidemiology
  • Entamoebiasis / veterinary*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Monkey Diseases / epidemiology
  • Monkey Diseases / parasitology*
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Species Specificity