An Analysis of a Memorandum on the Diagnosis of Amebiasis

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A memorandum consisting of 115 statements on the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of amebiasis was prepared and distributed to the members of the American Society of Tropical Medicine. The purpose of the memorandum was to obtain for analysis the current opinions on the subject expressed by those active in the field of amebiasis in the United States. Only those members with “experience and interest” in the subject were encouraged to complete and return the memorandum. The current report presents an analysis of replies submitted by 93 individuals.

Those responding demonstrated “good” or “excellent” agreement on only one-half of the statements. The poorest agreement was indicated on those statements concerned with the identification of trophozoites and cysts of E. histolytica in feces and cultures. It is apparent from the replies that each characteristic or group of characteristics currently used in identification should be carefully studied by competent investigators in order to determine their true value and reliability.

In addition to citing other problems which need careful investigation, the report summarizes the general beliefs of the respondents as evident from the replies to the various statements in the memorandum.

Author Notes

Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

School of Hygiene & Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Division of International Health, Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.

School of Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Formerly, Bowman-Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

College of Medicine, New York University, New York, N. Y.