Overdiagnosis of Amoebiasis in the Absence of Entamoeba Histolytica Among Patients Presenting With Diarrhoea in Wonji and Akaki, Ethiopia

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. May-Jun 2003;97(3):305-7. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(03)90153-2.


To confirm the high reported incidence of intestinal amoebiasis among study participants at 2 cohort sites in Ethiopia where an HIV/AIDS study is taking place, stool samples of 232 patients with complaints of diarrhoea were examined for the presence of Entamoeba histolytica and E. dispar DNA between April and December 2001. By microscopy, 91 (39%) of the study participants were reported to harbour Entamoeba trophozoites and/or four-nucleated cysts. Using specific E. histolytica and E. dispar DNA amplification and detection, none of the study participants were found to be infected with E. histolytica and only 21 (9%) with E. dispar. The consequences of the overdiagnosis of E. histolytica are briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis
  • Diarrhea / parasitology*
  • Dysentery, Amebic / diagnosis*
  • Dysentery, Amebic / epidemiology
  • Dysentery, Amebic / parasitology
  • Entamoeba histolytica / isolation & purification*
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Prospective Studies


  • DNA, Protozoan