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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946

Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo vol.38 no.6 São Paulo Nov./Dec. 1996 



Isoenzyme profile as parameter to differentiate pathogenic strains of Entamoeba histolytica in Brazil


Perfil isoenzimático como parâmetro para diferenciar cepas patogênicas de Entamoeba histolytica no Brasil



Ana Maria Barral de Martinez; Maria Aparecida Gomes; João da Costa Viana; Alvaro José Romanha; Edward Felix Silva

Correspondence to




The isoenzyme profiles (IP) of 33 strains of Entamoeba histolytica isolated from patients and carriers of two regions in Brazil (Amazonia and Southeast) were determined. The enzymes phosphoglucomutase, glucose-phosphate isomerase, hexokinase and malic enzyme were considered. IP of the strains was correlated with culture conditions, time of maintenance in laboratory and clinical history of patients. The strains were maintained under polyxenic, monoxenic and axenic culture conditions: 27 polyxenic, 1 polyxenic and monoxenic, 1 polyxenic, monoxenic and axenic and 4 axenic only. The patients were symptomatic and asymptomatic. The symptomatic patients presented either non dysenteric (NDC) or dysenteric colitis (DC), associated or not with hepatic abscess (HA). One patient presented anal amoeboma (AM). The analysis of IP for isolates maintained in polyxenic culture showed non pathogenic IP (I) for strains from carriers and patients with NDC, while the strains isolated from patients presenting DC, HA and AM resulted in isolates II or XIX pathogenic IP. This parameter was not able to differentiate strains from carriers from symptomatic patients when these strains were found in axenic or monoxenic culture. All these strains displayed pathogenic IP (II), demonstrating the inability of this parameter to classifying for virulence since it showed identical IP for strains isolated from carriers or symptomatic patients.

Keywords: Entamoeba histolytica; Isoenzymatic profiles; Virulence; Diagnostic.


O perfil isoenzimático (PI) de 33 cepas de E. histolytica, isoladas das regiões Amazônica e Sudeste do Brasil foi determinado. Foram consideradas as enzimas fosfoglicomutase, glicose fosfato isomerase, hexoquinase e enzima málica. O perfil obtido para cada cepa foi correlacionado com o meio e o tempo de manutenção em cultivo e com a história clínica do paciente. As cepas foram mantidas sob condições de cultivo axênico, monoxênico e polixênico: 27 polixênico, 1 polixênico e monoxênico, 1 polixênico, monoxênico e axênico e 4 somente em cultivo axênico. Os pacientes apresentaram sintomas ou não. Os pacientes sintomáticos apresentaram colite disentérica (CD) ou colite não disentérica (CND), associada ou não com abscesso hepático (AH). Um paciente apresentou ameboma anal (AM). A análise do PI das diferentes cepas mantidas em cultivo polixênico mostrou um PI não patogênico (I) para as cepas isoladas de portadores e pacientes com CND, enquanto as cepas isoladas de pacientes apresentando CD, AH ou AM resultou em isolados com PI patogênico (II e XIX). Analisando o PI das cepas mantidas em cultura axênica ou monoxênica, verificamos a inabilidade deste parâmetro para diferenciar cepas isoladas de portadores daquelas isoladas de pacientes sintomáticos. Todas estas cepas apresentaram PI patogênico, demonstrando a inabilidade deste parâmetro para classificar quanto à virulência.



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To FAPEMIG, FINEP and CNPq for supporting this work.



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Correspondence to:
Dr. Edward Felix Silva
Departamento de Parasitologia, ICB-UFMG
Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Pampulha
31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Recebido para publicação em 01/09/1995
Aceito para publicação em 04/12/1996

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