[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 9, 1978

Amebic Balanitis

JAMA. 1978;239(2):109. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280290029012

To the Editor.—  The BRIEF REPORT on amebiasis (238:1386-1387, 1977) discusses venereal transmission in homosexuals. In 1964 Cooke and I1 reported on amebic balanitis and found that in an uncircumcised population studied in New Guinea, the disease produced a characteristic clinical disease with edema of the prepuce, phimosis, and a discharge of pus that appeared to come from the urethra but in fact came from around the glans penis. Entamoeba histolytica was present in large numbers in smears taken and examined microscopically. In untreated patients the disease produced a dehiscence of the prepuce, and the glans penis protruded through the prepuce.Misdiagnosis and treatment of these cases with penicillin as for gonorrhea produced no response, while both circumcision alone and antiamebic medications produced healing of the lesion. From this observation, it would appear that the uncircumcised penis does get infected. However, mechanical transfer of infective organisms can still take