Intestinal spirochetosis (IS) is an unusual infection in children, one with no standard therapeutic options. This article reports the findings on 5 new cases in conjunction with a 20-year review of the pediatric literature. The diagnosis of IS in children requires a high degree of suspicion by the physician, as many cases present with abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, and/or hematochezia associated with a normal endoscopic examination. Silver stains (Dieterle or Whartin-Starry) are the preferred confirmatory stains on tissue sections. Giemsa (Diff-Quik) and periodic acid-Schiff stains may also be of value. Current literature favors the use of metronidazole in adult patients with IS, yet little information is available regarding treatment options in pediatric cases. This review indicates that a macrolide antibiotic with or without metronidazole may represent the best therapeutic choice for children. Further investigations are needed to determine the correlation between IS and coexisting gastrointestinal diseases and/or immunodeficiencies.
"To the best of our knowledge, there were 8 articles describing a total of 25 paediatric cases of intestinal spirochetosis
[5-12]. Three patients presented spirochetes on histopathological examination of a resected appendix without endoscopy. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intestinal spirochetosis is an unusual infection in children and its clinical significance in humans is uncertain. The presence of these microorganisms in humans is well-known since the late 1800's and was first described in 1967 by Harland and Lee by electron microscopy.
This article reports the findings of one pediatric case, review of the current literature, and an overview of therapeutic options.
A high degree of suspicion is required in cases presenting with abdominal pain, chronic diarrhoea and/or hematochezia associated with a normal endoscopic examination, thus emphasizing the importance of multiple biopsies throughout the colon.
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