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Lancet. 1996 Jun 29;347(9018):1797-801.

Lethal infection by a previously unrecognised metazoan parasite.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

New microbial pathogens or variant clinical manifestations of known organisms may be first found in immunodeficient patients. An HIV-infected man developed a rapidly-enlarging abdominal mass, suggestive of a neoplasm, that subsequently invaded his liver and caused death. Initial studies showed unusual tissue morphology that could not be matched with any known disease process.

METHODS:

Tissues obtained from biopsy at laparotomy and necropsy were studied by light microscopy, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and broad-range ribosomal DNA-amplification and sequence analysis.

FINDINGS:

Tissue lesions were characterised by peculiar cytoplasmic sacs containing minute cells with very prominent nucleoli. The pathological process was recognised as a parasitic infection, although its features were different from those of any known eukaryotic pathogen. Phylogenetic analysis of a 357 bp 18S rDNA sequence amplified directly from the involved tissue indicated that the causative agent was a previously-uncharacterised cestode.

INTERPRETATION:

Fatal disease produced by this newly recognised cestode may not be limited to immunodeficient hosts. Awareness of this metazoan infection may allow early diagnosis-by morphology and DNA sequence analysis--and perhaps successful treatment of subsequent cases.

PMID:
8667924
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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