Amebiasis: A Biomedical Problem

by James G. Shaffer, Sc.D., F.A.P.H.A., Director of Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, The Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Illinois; William H. Shlaes, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, The Chicago Medical School, Attending Physician in Medicine, Louis A. Weiss, Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; and Ryle A. Radke, M.D., M.Sc., Col. U. S. Army Medical Corps, Retired, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington. xiii + 172 pages, illustrated. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Illinois. 1965. $8.50

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A biologist, a clinician and a pathologist have collaborated to produce this interesting and valuable book on amebiasis. In their preface they emphasize the wide range of clinical and pathological manifestations of the infection, and the difficulty of assessing the importance of Entamoeba histolytica in the production of mild and chronic illnesses in which the parasite is found.

After reviewing briefly the history of amebiasis up to the cultivation of E. histolytica in 1924, the authors describe the morphology and life cycle of the parasite, and discuss in detail the variations in pathogenicity between the large and small races, between different strains of the large race, and in different persons infected with the same strain. They avoid involvement in the question of the existence of E. hartmanni as a separate species, but they definitely ascribe to the small race of E. histolytica an etiological role in chronic intestinal symptomatology.