Direct sequencing of the PCR amplified SSU rRNA gene of Entamoeba dispar and the design of primers for rapid differentiation from Entamoeba histolytica

S. Novati, M. Sironi, S. Granata, A. Bruno, S. Gatti, M. Scaglia, C. Bandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since 1993, strains of Entamoeba histolytica sensu lato have been assigned to 2 species on the basis of clinical, biochemical, immunological and genetic evidence: the pathogenic strains to E. histolytica sensu stricto, the non-pathogenic strains to Entamoeba dispar. Analysis of the gene encoding for the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rDNA) supports the existence of 2 species. However, while 3 whole SSU rDNA sequences are available in the data bases for E. histolytica, only a partial sequence has been published for E. dispar. Here we report a SSU rDNA sequence for E. dispar. Compared to those of E. histolytica, this sequence shows 1.7% nucleotide substitutions. On the basis of our rDNA data, 2 primers were designed to produce polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification from both E. histolytica and E. dispar. Primer specificity for the 2 amoebae was assessed both theoretically against the data bases, and experimentally against a collection of eukaryotic and prokaryotic DNAs. The amplified stretch encompasses a polymorphic Dde I restriction site which allows, after cleavage of the fragment, E. histolytica and E. dispar to be distinguished. The reliability of this method of identification was assessed comparing the results with those based on classic isoenzyme analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalParasitology
Volume112
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Direct sequencing
  • Entamoeba dispar
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • RFLP
  • Ribosomal RNA
  • Species identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology

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