Intestinal spirochetosis in eight pediatric patients from Southern Sweden - A clinical, histopathological and ultrastructural study

L Marthinsen, R Willen, Birgitta Carlén, E Lindberg, G Varendh

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36 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Intestinal spirochetes in humans have been recognized for more than a century, but it is still a matter of debate whether they are just commensal organisms or whether they cause colorectal disease. Most descriptions to date are of adult patients, while reports in the pediatric literature have been scarce. In a retrospective study we found eight children with intestinal spirochetosis. The findings, clinical as well as pathological, with light- and electron microscopy, are presented. In all patients, a 3 pm-thick layer of spirochetes was visualised on the luminal aspect of the epithelial cells covering the enterocytes and part of the gland openings. In five of the eight cases an inflammatory cell reaction was seen by light microscopy and in one patient a picture suggesting intracytoplasmatically located spirochetes was seen by electron microscopy. Despite partial or complete destruction of microvilli, spirochetes were still able to adhere to the enterocyte membranes. In three children there was a clear correlation between treatment and relief of symptoms. In four there was partial improvement and in one child no change in bowel-related symptoms. We believe that intestinal spirochetes may cause colorectal disease in children. Possible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-579
JournalAPMIS : acta pathologica, microbiologica, et immunologica Scandinavica
Volume110
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Pathology, (Lund) (013030000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • pediatrics
  • electron microscopy
  • intestinal spirochetosis
  • histopathology

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