The Significance of Endameba Histolytica in Stools of Individuals with Acute Diarrhea of Moderate Severity

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Data are presented to show that there was about a 20 per cent incidence of amebiasis among American soldiers stationed in the Calcutta area of the India-Burma theater. This incidence was existent in groups present in the theater for a relatively few months and did not increase significantly in groups present for longer periods. The incidence of amebiasis in American troops in the New Delhi area was only 5 per cent. Bacteriological studies for pathogenic enteric bacteria from the stools of patients with diarrhea of moderate severity showed a striking similarity whether or not E. histolytic was present. The bacteriological findings of the Calcutta and New Delhi groups were similar despite the striking difference in the incidence of amebiasis.

Evidence is presented to show that certain Paracolon types among individuals with diarrhea may be pathogenic, and cytological studies in stools of diarrhea cases further indicate a non-amebic etiology of the diarrheas studied.

From the data presented, it is concluded that the diarrheas of moderate severity studied in these investigations may be of a non-amebic origin and that the incidence of amebiasis (20 per cent) is probably a coincidental finding. It is further pointed out that the pathogenic bacteria and those of possible pathogenicity may play an important role in determining an individual's general resistance to an amebic infestation and it may also be an accessory factor in determining the pentrability of the amebae through the intestinal mucosa.

Author Notes

Department of Pathology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine.