Determination of Entamoeba histolytica infection in patients from Greater Metropolitan Belém, Pará, Brazil, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for antigen detection

The epidemiological status of amebiasis has been reevaluated since Entamoeba histolytica (pathogenic) was considered a distinct species from Entamoeba dispar (non-pathogenic). We investigated E. histolytica antigens in stool samples from residents of Belém, Pará State, Brazil, with commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (E. histolytica Test, TechLab Inc., Blacksburg, USA). A total of 845 samples were analyzed, of which 248 were positive (29.35%). E. histolytica infection was more frequent in the over-14-year age group (30.36%) than in the 0-14-year group (28.28%), but the difference was not statistically significant (p < 0.05). Of all the samples, 334 were also submitted to parasitological methods (direct, Hoffman, and Faust et al.). There were discordant results between ELISA and parasitological methods in 83 samples (24.85%), with more positive results using ELISA. Our results thus suggest that intestinal amebiasis is an important public health problem in Greater Metropolitan Belém.

Entamoeba histolytica; Immunodiagnosis; Amebiasis

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