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Amoebiasis 

Amoebiasis
Chapter:
Amoebiasis
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0043
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date: 17 June 2019

Most anaerobic infections in humans are caused by commensal bacteria from the skin and mucous membranes. These can cause serious infections in all body sites but are often related to entry of organisms from mucous membranes or gut, especially in chronic infection or immunocompromise. They are commonly found with other aerobic or anaerobic organisms in polymicrobial infections. Nearly all anaerobic infections originate inside the host, except for infections following bites or penetrating trauma and those caused by Clostridium species. Actinomycosis presents as lymphadenopathy which may progress to sinus formation. Anaerobic central nervous system infections may present in foreign material, such as shunts, as abscesses, or more rarely as meningitis. The head and neck are common sites of anaerobic infection because of source bacteria in the mouth and potential sites in the ears and upper airway. Lemierre’s disease is a particular challenge. Pleuropulmonary infections may follow aspiration. The presence of anaerobic commensal bacteria make the gastrointestinal tract and female genital tract important. Skin and bone infections usually follow penetrating infections, whereas joint infections are more likely to be haematogeneously spread. Anaerobic bacteraemia is uncommon but important. Details of diagnosis and treatment for specific anaerobic infections at these sites are discussed.

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