JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
REVIEW
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Whipple disease.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The availability of and advantages in molecular technology and immunology have led to an improved understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of Whipple disease. As this rare infection represents a model disease reflecting the input of novel findings into clinical medicine and therapy, this review intends to highlight newer findings and put them in context.

RECENT FINDINGS: Sequencing of 16S rRNA allowed the phylogeny of the bacterium to be determined. The culture and subsequent genome analysis have led to improved diagnosis and monitoring of the disease, for example by PCR or immunohistochemistry. New experimental approaches hint of defects in T-cell and macrophage immunity in patients. Antibiotic therapy will soon be based on data from the first prospective therapy study.

SUMMARY: Within a few years the findings from molecular genetics and immunology as well as concerted research activities from the European Consortium on Whipple Disease which established a data and material bank could be translated into clinical medicine. Thus, for patients with Whipple disease an improved basis for diagnosis and therapy have been achieved.

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