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October 2, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(14):1129-1130. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680140047015

Much of the recent work on amebiasis apparently represents an effort to make a disease remarkably protean in its manifestations fit laboratory observations from studies of the ameba. Adequate proof is still lacking that the causes of the disease are cleared up by assigning 100 per cent pathogenicity to amebas of certain biologic characteristics, and a harmless rôle to all other species. Discussion and even controversy over methods of differentiating between wholly pathogenic and wholly harmless amebas still constitute an important theme of investigators, while the far more important problem of the ultimate factors in the cause of amebiasis — what makes any ameba produce disease — still invites solution. Discussions about the pathogenicity of certain bacteria were once similarly active.

Instances are reported of persons who, according to reports of competent protozoologists, still harbor pathogenic amebas and who have not had symptoms, recognizable as such, of amebic disease since