Prevalence of Whipple's disease in north-western Italy

F. Biagi, D. Balduzzi, P. Delvino, A. Schiepatti, C. Klersy, G. R. Corazza

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Abstract

Whipple's disease (WD) is a rare systemic infection due, in genetically susceptible individuals, to Tropheryma whipplei, a heterogeneous Gram-positive actinobacteria. Although it has already been recognised that WD affects mainly middle-aged Caucasian men, the prevalence of WD is virtually unknown. The annual incidence of WD in the general population is said to be less than 1 per 1,000,000, but scientific evidence for these figures is still lacking. On the basis of the number of patients recorded with a diagnosis of Whipple’s disease in the regional registers for rare diseases of Lombardia, Liguria and Piemonte-Valle d'Aosta regions, we studied the prevalence of WD in the north-western part of Italy. Forty-six patients with Whipple’s disease were recorded in these regions (13 females; mean age at diagnosis 52.1 ± 11.1 years). Since 16,130,725 inhabitants live in these four regions, prevalence of WD in the general population is 3/106 and almost 30 % of the patients are females. WD is certainly a rare disease but it also affects women in a considerable proportion of cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1348
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 23 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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