In this study, physicians from Europe and Vietnam investigated the dynamics of intestinal Entamoeba histolytica infection.
They evaluated 383 randomly selected adult individuals living in an area of amebiasis endemicity in central Vietnam over a period of 15 months.
The team diagnosed ameba infection using species-specific PCR and DNA extracted directly from fecal samples.
|There was an E. histolytica prevalence of 11%.|
|Journal of Clinical Microbiology|
They found that there was an E. histolytica prevalence of 11%, as well as an annual new infection rate of 4%.
Follow-up of 43 E. histolytica positive individuals suggested a regular exponential decline in infection of about 3% per month. There was a mean half-life of infection of more than 15 months. However, the team determined that the reinfection rate for these participants was 2.7 times higher than they predicted for the study population as a whole.
Dr Joerg Blessmann's team concluded, "The reappearance of the parasite after successful treatment of E. histolytica infection and changes in "genetic fingerprints" of parasites during the course of infection revealed an annual new infection rate of about 11.5%".
"Thus, the mean half-life of E. histolytica infection was calculated to be 12.9 months".
"None of the participants developed symptoms compatible with invasive intestinal amebiasis, and only 1 of the subjects developed an amebic liver abscess".