Differential Characteristics of the Amoebae of Man in Culture

J. H. St. JohnDepartment of Preventive Medicine and Clinical Pathology, The Army Medical School, Washington, D. C.

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The use of the cultural method for the detection of Endamoeba histolytica has probably stimulated anew the interest of medical men in the intestinal protozoa. Because of the advantages of the method over the usual hit-or-miss procedures, amoebae heretofore infrequently encountered will be presented for consideration. It is true that, in so far as the patient is concerned, it is sufficient merely to eliminate Endamoeba histolytica. The inquisitive mind, however, not being content with half measures, will seek the full satisfaction of classifying the organism exactly.

There is no remarkable change in structural detail or behavior of the amoebae in their changed environment. There is found some slight deviation from normal but the main identifying features conform closely to the accepted descriptions. In culture, however, the unlimited number of amoebae available for study permits of greater emphasis being placed on minor individual peculiarities.