Intestinal Protozoa, Helminths and Bacteria in Tahiti, French Oceania

View More View Less
  • Department of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of California, Institut de Recherches Medicales de l'Oceanie Francaise, Los Angeles, Tahiti
Restricted access


A stool survey in which 560 individuals in Tahiti, French Oceania, were examined for intestinal protozoa, helminths and bacteria, yielded the following prevalence rates: E. histolytica 22.3 per cent, Giardia 10.0 per cent, Trichuris 44.0 per cent, hookworm 38.0 per cent, Ascaris 12.9 per cent, Shigella 3.9 per cent, Salmonella 0.9 per cent. Prevalence rates of other parasites are shown in Table 1.

A comparison of procedures used in examining stools for cysts of intestinal protozoa indicates that, for the most part, the zinc sulfate flotation procedure is more efficient than either the direct film or the film stained with iron-hematoxylin. In a comparison of the combination of any two of these methods, the iron-hematoxylin film and zinc sulfate flotation together produced the highest percentage of positives. It is emphasized that the direct film should always be used in examining for trophozoites.

The complement fixation test for amebiasis was performed on 25 serums procured from individuals harboring E. histolytica. Eighty-four per cent yielded positive tests. Five serums from individuals whose stools were negative for E. histolytica showed a negative complement fixation reaction.