Tropheryma whippelii DNA is rare in the intestinal mucosa of patients without other evidence of Whipple disease.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the pathogenesis of Whipple disease, the reservoirs of Tropheryma whippelii, and the proportion of persons harboring the bacterium without "classic" intestinal abnormalities. OBJECTIVE: To assess the presence of T. whippelii in patients undergoing upper endoscopy for a variety of indications. DESIGN: Prospective and routine diagnostic examination of patients. SETTING: Three academic medical centers in California; Minnesota; and Heidelberg, Germany. PATIENTS: 342 patients undergoing endoscopy for evaluation of dyspepsia or possible peptic ulcer (group A, 173 patients), malabsorption (group B, 37 patients), or clinical suspicion of Whipple disease (group C, 132 patients). MEASUREMENTS: Small-intestinal biopsy specimens were tested by polymerase chain reaction for T. whippelii DNA and examined for histopathologic abnormalities. RESULTS: All patients with negative histologic findings also had negative results for T. whippelii DNA. CONCLUSIONS: T. whippelii occurs only rarely in intestinal mucosa that lacks histopathologic evidence of Whipple disease. The human small intestinal mucosa is an unlikely reservoir for this organism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Maiwald, M; von Herbay, A; Persing, DH; Mitchell, PP; Abdelmalek, MF; Thorvilson, JN; Fredricks, DN; Relman, DA

Published Date

  • January 16, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 134 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 115 - 119

PubMed ID

  • 11177314

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11177314

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-4819

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7326/0003-4819-134-2-200101160-00011


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States