Detection of entamoeba histolytica by recombinase polymerase amplification

Gayatri Nair, Mauricio Rebolledo, A. Clinton White, Zachary Crannell, R. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, A. Elizabeth Pinilla, Juan David Ramírez, M. Consuelo López, Alejandro Castellanos-Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Amebiasis is an important cause of diarrheal disease worldwide and has been associated with childhood malnutrition. Traditional microscopy approaches are neither sensitive nor specific for Entamoeba histolytica. Antigen assays are more specific, but many cases are missed unless tested by molecular methods. Although polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is effective, the need for sophisticated, expensive equipment, infrastructure, and trained personnel limits its usefulness, especially in the resource-limited, endemic areas. Here, we report development of a recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) method to detect E. histolytica specifically. Using visual detection by lateral flow (LF), the test was highly sensitive and specific and could be performed without additional equipment. The availability of this inexpensive, sensitive, and field-applicable diagnostic test could facilitate rapid diagnosis and treatment of amebiasis in endemic regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-595
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Parasitology


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