Epidemiological Study of Amebiasis and Strain Analysis of Pathogenic Amoeba in an Education and Nursing Institute for the Mentally-Handicapped in Taiwan

Hung-Yin Deng

2005 Vol.21 NO.1

Correspondence Author:


To appreciate the prevalence of intestinal amoebic infection in a public education and nursing institute for the mentally-handicapped in Taiwan, screening for intestinal amoeba with enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and direct microscopy were performed. The species of amoeba were then confirmed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The extent, sources, and risk factors of infection were analyzed with epidemiological studies.
The results showed that there was no EIA positive reaction among 182 employees, but 38 (8.6%) of the 442 residents were EIA positive. Cysts and trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica and/or E. dispar were detected in all EIA positive stool specimens. 15 (39.5%) of the residents were infected with E. histolytica, and 23 (60.5%) were infected with E. dispar. All infected residents were asymptomatic. In addition, the amoeba serum antibody tests of the residents were 44.1% (195/442) positive (IHA titer≧1:256X). There was a positive correlation between the severity of mental retardation and the distribution of serum-positive residents.