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Laboratory diagnosis of dientamoeba fragilis



Laboratory diagnosis of dientamoeba fragilis



Acta Zoologica Sinica 24(3): 220-224



Wenyon discovered Dientamoeba fragilis in 1909, but the detailed study and description were not reported until 1918 by Jepps and Dobell. Since then similar studies have been reported from different parts of the world. D. fragilis was thought to be rare in China. A total of 11 cases were found among 2949 patients (0.37%) in studies done in 1958 and 1962. To improve the efficiency of detection, special attention was paid to the morphology of D. fragilis. Five different methods of study were carried out and the results were compared. Direct observation of smears prepared from normal saline suspension and distilled water suspension of fresh stool specimens were made. Iron -hematoxylin staining showed that the morphology of D. fragilis in the stool was very similar to that of leukocytes, especially in patients with diarrhea. Where D. fragilis is usually present in large amount and is frequently mistaken for leukocytes. By using the optimal conditions for study(fresh specimens, preservation at room temperature instead of at 4.degree. C, quick examination, direct observation of smears prepared from saline suspension and after cultivation) the percentage detection was greatly increased. From stool examinations of 110 normal subjects, 14 persons (12.7%) gave positive results. The frequency of occurrence of D. fragilis in Peking is evidently not so rare as formerly supposed.

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