Self-Inoculation with Endamoeba Histolytica Trophozoites Through Vaseline and the Longevity of the Trophozoites in Vaseline

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  • Associate Protozoologist, United States Public Health Service and Research Associate, Department of Medicine, Douglas Smith Foundation, University of Chicago

The purpose of this article is to describe a case in which there is presumptive evidence of self-inoculation with Endamoeba histolytica through contaminated vaseline, and to report an experiment bearing on the longevity of E. histolytica in vaseline at room temperature.

Mr. S. P. entered a hospital in Chicago complaining of epigastric pain of indefinite duration. He also gave a history of usually passing hard stools with occasional blood.

Repeated personal examination of the stools after his admission failed to reveal any E. histolytica. By mistake, one stool was sent to the hospital bacteriologist who had been in the institution only a short time and who had had no previous clinical experience. She reported the finding of dead amebae. Immediately upon receiving this report the patient was isolated in a four-bed room with 3 cases of active amebic dysentery. The beds were arranged in pairs, with a small table between each two beds.

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