Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The indirect hemagglutination (IHA), complement fixation (CF), and agar gel diffusion (Gel) tests were evaluated in the diagnosis and management of amebiasis. Axenically-grown was used as antigen. A survey of 3,033 patients from our hospital population showed IHA titers indicative of infection in 32 patients (1.1%): 6 had parasitologic or clinical evidence of amebic infection and 10 others had additional serologic evidence of antibodies. Of 345 patients in another study with symptoms suggestive of amebiasis, 85% of 107 with proven infections had positive IHA tests. The three serologic tests were compared in 16 extraintestinal and 127 intestinal cases of amebiasis. All tests were positive in 88% of extraintestinal cases. The IHA test was positive in 95, 61, and 58%, respectively, of invasive, symptomatic and asymptomatic colon cases; the CF test in 85, 56, and 58%; and the Gel test in 86, 54, and 52%. The IHA test was somewhat more sensitive and tended to remain positive longer after cure, but all tests often remained positive for 6 to 12 months, and occasionally for 1 to 3 years. The titer was not helpful in differentiating extraintestinal from intestinal, nor even symptomatic from asymptomatic amebiasis. Skilled judgment is essential in clinical use of these serologic tests.


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