Lymphocytic colitis: A clue to bacterial etiology

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 01/2006; 11(46):7266-71.
Source: PubMed


To find out the role of bacteria as a possible etiological factor in lymphocytic colitis.
Twenty patients with histopathological diagnosis of lymphocytic colitis and 10 normal controls were included in this study. Colonoscopic biopsies were obtained from three sites (hepatic and splenic flexures and rectosigmoid region). Each biopsy was divided into two parts. A fresh part was incubated on special cultures for bacterial growth. The other part was used for the preparation of histologic tissue sections that were examined for the presence of bacteria with the help of Giemsa stain.
Culture of tissue biopsies revealed bacterial growth in 18 out of 20 patients with lymphocytic colitis mostly Escherichia coli (14/18), which was found in all rectosigmoid specimens (14/14), but only in 8/14 and 6/14 of splenic and hepatic flexure specimens respectively. In two of these cases, E coli was associated with proteus. Proteus was found only in one case, Klebsiella in two cases, and Staphylococcus aureus in one case. In the control group, only 2 out of 10 controls showed the growth of E coli in their biopsy cultures. Histopathology showed rod-shaped bacilli in the tissue sections of 12 out of 14 cases with positive E coli in their specimen's culture. None of the controls showed these bacteria in histopathological sections.
This preliminary study reports an association between E coli and lymphocytic colitis, based on histological and culture observations. Serotyping and molecular studies are in process to assess the role of E coli in the pathogenesis of lymphocytic colitis.

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    • "Gastrointestinal infections, autoimmune diseases, and various drugs have been reported to be causative factors.[8] A study was performed by Helal et al. in 2005 to explore the role of bacteria as a possible etiological factor in lymphocytic colitis in Egypt.[13] Twenty patients with a histopathological diagnosis of lymphocytic colitis were included. "
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