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September 14, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(11):904. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600370042014

The bacteria no longer form the sole topic of interest to the student of diseases of microbiotic origin. The amebas have lately claimed their share of attention. The genus Endameba, which includes parasitic species of amebas, was established nearly forty years ago by Joseph Leidy,1 who, in 1879, took for its type species Endameba blattae, a parasitic ameba of the cockroach. The discovery of the existence of a true amebic dysentery in man has given the impetus latterly to extensive researches in this field. It early became evident that not all amebas harbored in the alimentary tract are pathogenic. The differential diagnosis has been greatly complicated by the uncertainties of classifying these organisms, owing in part to the lack of knowledge of their complete life cycle and to the difficulties inherent in studying the morphology of such simple cells; hence there has been a succession of names introduced into