Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The Waorani Indians of eastern Ecuador provide a unique opportunity for studying exposure of an isolated human population to various infectious disease agents. Using serologic tests to determine antibody prevalence, skin test data, and stool examination for parasites, we have been able to construct a profile of infectious diseases which are endemic, and others which have been introduced into the Waorani population. These findings are compared with similar data reported from elsewhere in the Amazon. Serologic studies demonstrating the presence of antibody to measles and poliovirus type 3 after vaccination indicate that the Waorani respond normally to viral challenge with these agents. The question of genetic inability among aboriginal Amerindians to respond to viral agents is discussed. Finally, general recommendations are made regarding the future health care of the Waorani.


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