An Evaluation of the Rôle of the Food Handler in the Transmission of Amebiasis

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panama, R. of P.

Since the Chicago epidemic of amebic dysentery in 1933, the importance of infected food handlers in the transmission of amebiasis has become a subject of controversy. In a comprehensive report (1) which followed an investigation of the Chicago affair, it was concluded that food handlers could have had little if any part in the causation of the epidemic. Although this conclusion could not be applied to food-handler transmission in general, the extensive investigations surrounding the epidemic were such as to throw considerable uncertainty upon the plausibility of this method of dissemination.

Previously, nearly all students of amebiasis had assigned to food handlers a rôle of considerable importance, many believing this group to constitute the chief source of amebic infections. For example, the well-expressed views of Craig (2) reflect to a more or less degree those which have been accepted by almost every writer on the epidemiology of amebiasis.

Author Notes

Lieutenant, Medical Corps, United States Navy and Protozoologist, Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, respectively.