A study of laboratory methods for diagnosing Endamoeba histolytica and their application to 5,048 persons from the Chicago area

  • Viola M. Young
  • Oscar Felsenfeld
  • William H. Shlaes
  • Tama Yoshimura
  • Frederick Steigmann


The paper presents a complication of extensive studies made on methods used for the detection of Endamoeba histolytica, and the application of those methods to the examination of more than 13,000 fecal specimens from 5,048 persons during the past 7 years in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois. Combined fecal and proctosig-moidoscopic specimens examined within 30 minutes after collection, employing hematoxylin-stained slides and zinc sulfate flotation, gave optimal results. The irregular behavior of E. histolytica at different temperatures is presented, necessitating their preservation if examination is not carried out within 30 minutes. Advantages of polyvinyl alcohol and Schaudinn's fixative for hematoxylin stained slides and those of formalin and D’Antoni’s iodine for flotation were pointed out. Results of stool examinations for other components than parasites and bacteria were compiled and their lack of value for etiological, but usefulness in guidance of symptomatic treatment were shown. The approximate proportion of E. histolytica infestations in patients suffering from chronic intestinal disturbances in the Chicago area is estimated as 20 ± 3 percent.


Polyvinyl Alcohol Chronic Diarrhea Stool Specimen Shigellosis Fecal Specimen 
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Copyright information

© Sandfield Publishing Company 1951

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viola M. Young
    • 1
  • Oscar Felsenfeld
    • 1
  • William H. Shlaes
    • 1
  • Tama Yoshimura
    • 1
  • Frederick Steigmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Hektoen Institute for Medical ResearchEnteric Service of Cook County HospitalChicago

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