An Amebiasis Survey in a Veterans Administration Hospital, Chamblee, Georgia, with Comparison of Technics

M. M. Brooke Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia

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Alan W. Donaldson Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia

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Eugene Brown Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia

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Summary

  1. 1. Four hundred ambulatory patients in the medical wards of Lawson Veterans Administration Hospital were examined for the presence of Endamoeba histolytica and other intestinal parasites. An average of 2.6 post-cathartic specimens per patient was examined by direct wet mounts, the Ritchie formalinether sedimentation procedure, and the PVA-fixative technic. Cultivation was used on specimens from 374 of the patients. Thirty-seven (9.3 per cent) patients were found to be infected with E. histolytica. This rate is within the usually accepted range for the incidence of E. histolytica in the general population of the United States (Craig and Faust, 1951). Four of the 37 (or 10.8 per cent) were considered to have clinical amebiasis. Despite the lapse of several years after the end of World War II, two of the four amebiasis cases could conceivably have been service-connected.
  2. 2. Comparison of the technics performed demonstrated the desirability of examining permanently-stained smears for amebic infections. The PVA-fixative technic provides a convenient method of collecting specimens for the preparation of stained smears. This technic, which is particularly effective for amebic trophozoites, should be used in conjunction with other procedures which are more effective in the recovery and identification of cysts.
  3. 3. A significant relationship between the presence of E. histolytica infections and outside toilet facilities was demonstrated. This correlation apparently was not related to the rural residence of the patients.

Author Notes

Lawson Veterans Administration Hospital, Veterans Administration, Chamblee, Georgia. (Now Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia)

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