Admitted medical records, from January 1988 to December 1995, of 28 symptomatic amebic patients who lived in the east-southeast area of Tokyo were studied retrospectively, in order to find the present characteristics of symptomatic amebiasis due to Entamoeba histolytica in this area. Categorized by disease, there were 14 cases of colitis, 9 cases of liver abscess, 4 cases of colitis with liver abscess, and 1 case of liver abscess with brain abscess. Patients consisted of 26 Japanese males, 0 Japanese females, 1 non-Japanese male and 1 non-Japanese female. The mean age of colitis patients and liver abscess patients was 55·4 years old and 41·3 years old, respectively. The presumed place of contraction was Japan in 64% of the patients. Forty-eight percent of male patients indicated that they engaged in homosexual or bisexual practices, and 36% of male patients who denied such sexual practices or did not answer the question had no history of marriage. Positive rate of serum titre for Treponema pallidum hemagglutination test (TPHA) and human immunodeficiency virus antibody was 42·9% and 0%, respectively. Sixty-seven percent of TPHA-positive patients indicated that they engaged in male homosexual or bisexual practices. Zymodeme patterns of E. histolytica isolated from 4 colitis patients were XIV in 1 case and II in 3 cases. Symptomatic amebiasis in the east-southeast area of Tokyo is a disease which predominantly afflicts males, especially those in their middle age, and most patients contract the disease in Japan. The high rates of patients who engaged in male homosexual or bisexual practices and the high rates of patients with positive TPHA suggest that amebiasis is likely to be sexually transmitted disease in homosexual and bisexual men in the east-southeast area of Tokyo, and zymodeme II may be the predominant type in symptomatic amebic colitis in this area.
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