International travels and global human migration have had the unforeseen consequence of increasing the exposure of histopathologists in developed countries to the pathology of tropical infectious disease. The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is often the primary site of infection due to the faecal-oral route of transmission and the high risk of exposure to contaminated water, food or soil when travelling to these regions. Whilst current microbiologic techniques are far more sensitive than histology in detecting infectious pathogens, the histopathologist nonetheless retains a pivotal role in diagnosing tropical GIT disease. This role entails evaluating endoscopic biopsies for any characteristic inflammatory pattern, identifying pathogens which may be present and excluding other look-alike pathologies. Recent advances in commercially available diagnostic modalities, including molecular techniques, have further broadened the scope of the histopathologist’s armamentarium. This review outlines a practical pattern-based approach to diagnosing tropical GIT infections in endoscopic material, so as to assist pathologists less familiar with this spectrum of pathology.
Virchows Archiv – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2017
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