Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 9, pp 2941–2948 | Cite as

Prevalence of two Entamoeba gingivalis ST1 and ST2-kamaktli subtypes in the human oral cavity under various conditions

  • Gabriela GarciaEmail author
  • Fernando Ramos
  • Juan Maldonado
  • Antonio Fernandez
  • Jorge Yáñez
  • Lilian Hernandez
  • Paul Gaytán
Original Paper


Advances in molecular biology have facilitated analyses of the oral microbiome; however, the parasites role is poorly understood. Periodontal disease is a multifactorial process involving complex interactions among microorganisms, the host, and environmental factors. At present, the precise composition of the mouth parasites microbiota is unclear. Two protozoan species have been detected in the oral microbiota: Trichomonas tenax and Entamoeba gingivalis, and a new variant, E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli, was recently identified by us. In this study, both E. gingivalis and the new E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli variant were detected in the oral cavities of people with healthy periodontium, individuals undergoing orthodontic treatment, and patients with periodontal disease. In the group with healthy periodontium, the prevalence of E. gingivalis-ST1 was 48.6% and that of E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli 29.5%, with a combined prevalence of 54.3%. In patients undergoing orthodontics treatment, 81.2% carried both amoebas, with 47.5% having E. gingivalis-ST1 and 73.8% E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli. In people with periodontal disease, the prevalence of E. gingivalis-ST1 was 57.8%, and that of E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli 50.0%, with a combined prevalence of 73.5%; hence, E. gingivalis-ST1 and E gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli were detected in all three groups. The question arises, what are E. gingivalis-ST1 and E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli doing in the oral cavity? Although, the answer remains unclear, our results suggest that each amoeba subtype is genetically distinct, and they exhibit different patterns of infectious behavior. We hypothesize that E. gingivalis-ST1 and E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli may represent separate species. Our data contribute to better understanding of the roles of E. gingivalis-ST1 and E. gingivalis-ST2-kamaktli in the oral microbiota.


Entamoeba gingivalis-ST1 E. gingivalis-ST2-Kamaktli subtype Orthodontics-treatment parasite infections Periodontal diseases Oral Entamoeba species subtypes Molecular epidemiology of oral amoebiasis 



We thank the students in our lab, Eric López Huerta and Brenda Esmeralda Roldán Chávez, for the technical help with this project. We would like to thank Editage ( for the English language editing.

Authors’ contributions

GG and RF conceived and designed the experiments; MJ and LA collected the oral samples and were responsible for approaching patients, and obtaining informed consent and questionnaires; GG and LH for the coordination of patient samples; RF organized the database; GG, RF, YJ, and GP performed the experiments; GG and RF performed the statistical analyses; and GG and RF wrote the entire manuscript. All authors contributed to manuscript revision, and read and approved the submitted version.


This research was carried out thanks to support from the Medicine Faculty (151/2014, 008/2016, and FM-DI/025/2018), and was approved by the Scientific and Ethics Committees at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Microbiología Molecular, Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)Ciudad de MéxicoMexico
  2. 2.Clínicas de Periodoncia and Ortodoncia, División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Facultad de OdontologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  3. 3.Unidad de Síntesis y Secuenciación de DNAInstituto de Biotecnología, UNAMCuernavacaMexico

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