Size Variation in Entamoeba histolytica

Article metrics


THE human bowel is inhabited by amoebæ with the morphology of Entamoeba histolytica, but of differing mean size. The larger of these can be tissue-invading pathogens or may, usually in a smaller form, remain as a commensal in the bowel1. Further, there is considerable overlap in size range, at least in the commensal form, with a still smaller amoeba of similar morphology which has variously been known as E. hartmanni Prowazek, 1912; E. histolytica hartmanni Hoare, 1949; or as the small race of E. histolytica of Dobell, 1919. Of these views, the latter two have been the most widely favoured, but the work of Burrows2 has indicated that there are morphological differences which suggest that the small amoeba should be considered a distinct species. However, there is, even on Burrows's criteria, still overlap with the large form, certain features being found sometimes in one and not in the other and vice versa.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Hoare, C. A., Exp. Parasit., 1, 411 (1952).

  2. 2

    Burrows, R. B., Amer. J. Hyg., 65, 172 (1957).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

FREEDMAN, L., ELSDON-DEW, R. Size Variation in Entamoeba histolytica . Nature 181, 433–434 (1958) doi:10.1038/181433a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.