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The Book Forum |

Parasites of the Human Heart

S. E. Gould, MD
JAMA. 1964;190(11):1016-1017. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070240062029.
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The publication of a volume devoted exclusively to parasites of the human heart attests to the increasing interest in parasitic infections in man. This interest, however, is not merely academic, inasmuch as it is frequently possible to identify the specific agent responsible for the cardiac involvement, and then to institute appropriate treatment.

In this valuable brochure, the authors have lucidly and concisely summarized our knowledge of protozoan and metazoan parasites that either invade the heart directly or otherwise influence the heart adversely. The protozoan diseases which are discussed include amebic pericarditis, balantidiasis, kala-azar, Chagas' disease, African trypanosomiasis, malaria, toxoplasmosis, and sarcosporidiosis. The metazoan diseases discussed consist principally of infestations with helminths: (1) the trematodes (flukes), which include schistosomiasis, heterophyiasis, and paragonimiasis; (2) the cestodes ( tapeworms), which cause cysticercosis. echinococcosis, and sparganosis; and ( 3) the nematodes (roundworms), which produce trichinosis, trichuriasis, strongyloidiasis, hookworm disease, ascariasis, and filariasis.

As the authors point


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