The Incidence of Intestinal Parasites in Amebic and Bacillary Dysentery

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  • 1 Department of Medicine, University of Natal, The Amoebiasis Research Unit, Durban, South Africa


Comparison of the incidence and degree of intestinal parasitism in Durban African males indicates that the incidence of protozoal infection in a control group is similar to that reported elsewhere but there is a significantly lower incidence in patients with bacillary dysentery and an even lower incidence in those with amebic dysentery. There is a high incidence of helminth infection in all three groups but those with amebic dysentery have the highest incidence of Trichuris and Ascaris infections. Heavy loads of Trichuris, Ascaris and hookworm are rare although the two former are slightly commoner in amebic dysentery.

It is concluded that, although no positive evidence exists, there is a possibility that the high incidence of Trichuris may predispose to invasion by Entamoeba histolytica although the association between the amebae and Trichuris and Ascaris may merely be due to common epidemiological factors of poor hygiene and lack of sanitation.

Author Notes

P. O. Box 1035.

The Amoebiasis Research Unit is sponsored by the following bodies: The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, The University of Natal, The Natal Provincial Administration, and the U. S. Public Health Service (Grant E-1592).