The Effect of Acetic Acid on the Viability of Endamoeba Histolytica Cysts

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Foreign residents in tropical or other poorly sanitated regions are faced with the problem of protecting themselves against food-borne enteric infections, and at the same time of satisfying the need and desire for balancing their diets with uncooked fruits and vegetables. As a protection against amebic infection it has been recommended that uncooked foods be dried, dipped in boiling water, or treated with certain chemicals (1). While these methods may be effective from the standpoint of prophylaxis, they are undesirable from the standpoint of appearance and flavor of the foods, and in some instances the chemicals themselves may be hazardous to health. Consequently it is sometimes suggested that all suspicious foods be avoided in the tropics (2, 3, 4). In many cases, however, the foreign resident in the tropics may choose to live in fear of enteric diseases rather than deny himself fresh fruits and vegetables.

Author Notes

We are indebted to Dr. Alfred Gage, Medical Director, Standard Oil Company, whose interest in amebiasis as a health problem resulted in the general arrangements and provisions for our investigations. Also, we wish to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. R. F. Schneider, in charge of the International Petroleum Company Hospital, Talara, Peru, Mr. G. W. Shields, director of the hospital laboratory, and other members of the hospital staff. We are indebted especially to Miss Florence Caswell, dietition, for direct participation in certain phases of the study.

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