Studies on the Effect of Feeding Ventriculin, Liver Extract and Raw Liver to Dogs Experimentally Infected with Endamoeba Histolytica

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  • Parasitology Laboratory, Department of Tropical Medicine, the Tulane University of Louisiana, New Orleans, La.
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Summary and Conclusions

  1. 1.Following a preliminary test of the benefit of feeding raw liver to dogs infected with Endamoeba histolytica, a series of experiments was undertaken to test out the relative efficacy of ventriculin, desiccated liver extract and raw liver, fed by mouth to infected dogs.
  2. 2.The series herein reported includes five positive animals inoculated intracecally with human strains of E. histolytica, subsequently treated with ventriculin; five positive animals, similarly inoculated and subsequently treated with desiccated liver extract, and nine animals, similarly inoculated, of which seven were treated before inoculation and two after infection was established, with feedings of raw liver. Ninety-four dogs similarly infected but untreated and others uninfected were used as controls.
  3. 3.Ventriculin was found to be consistently harmful to the host, not only being ineffectual in checking the invasion of the amebae but actually reducing the resistence of the tissues of the wall to secondary bacterial invasion.
  4. 4.Liver extract was found to be beneficial to the host and appreciably arrested the amebic process. This is indicated by the improved appearance of the animal, the tendency toward formed stools with sluggish or encysted amebae, and the evidence of repair of the damaged tissues on gross and microscopic examination post-mortem. In most animals, however, the control was only partial and never produced spontaneous cure.
  5. 5.Raw liver was found to be not only helpful in arresting the amebic process but in certain cases produced complete eradication of the pathogenic organism. Clinical "cure" is not conclusive evidence of complete eradication of the amebae.
  6. 6.Evidence is furnished which suggests that the efficacy of the liver feedings consists not in its stimulating action on the hematopoietic organs, but by direct contact with the tissues which the amebae attack. It is not amebicidal but amebostatic. Growth and multiplication of the amebae are arrested, they may encyst in the tissues as well as in the lumen of the bowel, and the healing process is appreciably activated. Furthermore the tendency of liver to neutralize the toxic effects of histamin and other degeneration products of proteins in the lumen of the bowel, conceivably aids the healing process and reduces the danger of bacterial invasion.