Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Bacteriological examination of 201 Guatemalan children with acute endemic diarrheal disease showed an association with in 13% of cases. The carrier rate for that infectious agent in 225 control children of the same ages, 1 through 5 years, was 6%. Examination was by single rectal swabs.

Neither nor enteropathogenic was frequent in the age group examined. Except for hookworms in patients from rural areas, helminths and protozoa were present in equal proportions in persons with and without diarrhea. Guatemalan children showed a high rate of intestinal parasitism, since by 3 years of age practically every village child was infected with at least one species.

The critical question still unanswered is what proportion of acute diarrheas in childhood is of infectious origin. The problem has two parts, the specific infections of the intestinal tract and the many other infectious diseases which on occasion lead to diarrhea. The place of the viruses as inciting agents in both groups needs attention.


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