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Higher seroprevalence of Entamoeba histolytica than that of HIV-1 at a voluntary counselling and testing centre in Tokyo

By Yasuaki Yanagawa, Mami Nagashima, Hiroyuki Gatanaga, Yoshimi Kikuchi, Shinichi Oka, Keiko Yokoyama, Takayuki Shinkai, Kenji Sadamasu, Koji Watanabe

Posted 31 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/536565

Background Amebiasis, which is caused by Entamoeba histolytica, is a re-emerging public health issue owing to sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Japan. However, epidemiological data are quite limited. Methodology To reveal the relative prevalence of sexually transmitted E. histolytica infection to other STIs, we conducted a cross-sectional study at a voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) centre in Tokyo. Seroprevalence of E. histolytica was assessed according to positivity with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for E. histolytica-specific IgG in serum samples collected from anonymous VCT clients. Principal Findings Among 2,083 samples, seropositivity for E. histolytica was 2.64%, which was higher than that for HIV-1 (0.34%, p < 0.001) and comparable to that for syphilis (rapid plasma reagin (RPR) 2.11%, p = 0.31). Positivity for Chlamydia trachomatis in urine by transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) was 4.59%. Seropositivity for E. histolytica was high among RPR- or Treponema pallidum hemagglutination (TPHA)-positive individuals and it was not different between clients with and without other STIs. Both seropositivity of E. histolytica and RPR were high among male clients. The seropositive rate for anti-E. histolytica antibody was positively correlated with age. TMA positivity for urine C. trachomatis was high among female clients and negatively correlated with age. Regression analysis identified that male sex, older age, and TPHA-positive results are independent risk factors of E. histolytica seropositivity. Conclusions Seroprevalence of E. histolytica was 7.9 times higher than that of HIV-1 at a VCT centre in Tokyo, with a tendency to be higher among people at risk for syphilis infection.

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