Jul 18, 2023
Whipple disease is an uncommon bacterial infection that typically affects the joints and digestive system. Whipple disease interferes with healthy digestion by affecting how food digests and how well your body absorbs nutrients like fats and carbohydrates.
Tropheryma whipplei (formerly known as T whippelii), a gram-positive bacterium, is most likely the cause behind the systemic illness known as Whipple’s disease. The disease also affects the central nervous system, and cardiovascular system, despite the initial descriptions of the sickness being a malabsorption syndrome with small intestinal involvement.
Endocarditis with a culture-negative result is known to be mostly caused by T whipplei infection. Clinical experience with this condition is limited because fewer than 1000 known cases have been described.
Whipple's illness is caused by the bacteria Tropheryma whipplei. The environment is filled with these bacteria, although infections are extremely uncommon. Scientists are still unsure of why some individuals contract the virus while others do not.
Researchers have discovered the bacteria in the stool and saliva of healthy individuals. These persons are more likely to possess the human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) which is a protein. These people may have a higher risk of contracting Whipple's illness if they come into touch with Tropheryma whipplei bacteria.
Immune system problems are common in Whipple's disease patients. These problems make it more difficult for the body to fight infections.
The following are the signs and symptoms of Whipple disease which may be present in the patients:
The likelihood of developing Whipple's disease is higher among older, non-Hispanic, white people.
Farmers may be more likely to develop the disease because the T. whipplei bacteria are known to live in the soil.
The transmission from person to person and through sewage is, however, also proven to occur. Additionally, places lacking adequate cleanliness and access to clean water usually have higher chances of Whipple’s disease occurrence.
As of the right moment, Whipple's disease has no known treatment. However, only a tiny fraction of those exposed to the bacterium go on to develop the disease.
These tests are generally performed as part of the diagnosis of Whipple disease:
The first step in treatment is typically an aggressive course of antibiotics that includes 2-4 weeks of intravenous (IV) medication. You'll also probably take antibiotics every day for one to two years.
Tetracycline for a long time has been the drug of choice, but doctors discovered that many patients would relapse and have poor outcomes with subsequent therapies. Better outcomes were seen with penicillin or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX).
If you are allergic to a specific antibiotic, let your doctor know right away because there are many other treatments they can try, such as:
Other therapy choices include:
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