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  • Laboratory of Hygiene University of Amsterdam Mauritskade 57

Amsterdam, March 7, 1960

To the Editor.


Considering the interesting piece of work by Varela, Kean, Barrett and Keegan on the important problem of diarrhea among travelers, which has been published in your Journal (1959, 8: 353–357), it seems that the results of this investigation deserve more attention than the seemingly disappointing conclusion, stating that the enteropathogenic E. coli, Paracolobactrum and Klebsiella could not be incriminated as the cause of the diarrhea of travelers to Mexico.

Among the 27 students, who contracted diarrhea, bacterial pathogens were significantly more often isolated than among the 35 well students. The probability that the preponderance of pathogens among the sick students could be due to mere chance is less than 5% (x2 = 5.0407; one degree of freedom).

More important, however, is the observation that the occurrence of isolated bacterial pathogens among the total group of 62 students is not equally distributed during the period of study.