Published online May 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.2078
Revised: April 7, 2009
Accepted: April 14, 2009
Published online: May 7, 2009
Whipple’s disease was initially described in 1907. Over the next century, the clinical and pathological features of this disorder have been better appreciated. Most often, weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal and joint pain occur. Occasionally, other sites of involvement have been documented, including isolated neurological disease, changes in the eyes and culture-negative endocarditis. In the past decade, the responsible organism Tropheryma whipplei has been cultivated, its genome sequenced and its antibiotic susceptibility defined. Although rare, it is a systemic infection that may mimic a wide spectrum of clinical disorders and may have a fatal outcome. If recognized, prolonged antibiotic therapy may be a very successful form of treatment.