Appendicitis is a very common surgical diagnosis with unclear pathology.
Human cytomegalovirus can modulate our immune system and has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease and various other inflammatory diseases.
|Human cytomegalovirus late antigen was found in 43% of patients|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
Dr Mensur Dzabic and colleagues from Sweden investigated the association between human cytomegalovirus and acute appendicitis in 14 immunocompetent patients.
Tissue sections from 10 AIDS patients with verified human cytomegalovirus infection were used as positive controls.
Uninflamed intestinal tissue sections from 12 patients were used as negative controls.
The researchers observed cells double positive for human cytomegalovirus early antigens, and interleukin-6/interleukin-8 in the appendices of 64% of appendicitis patients by immunohistochemical analysis.
Human cytomegalovirus late antigen was found in the appendices of 43% of the acute appendicitis patients.
The doctors observed latent human cytomegalovirus appendix infection, as verified by in situ hybridization, as well as human cytomegalovirus immunoglobulin G, in 79% of patients.
The team found that the study samples from all 6 healthy appendices were negative for human cytomegalovirus early and late antigens.
However, 50% were human cytomegalovirus immunoglobulin G and human cytomegalovirus DNA positive.
Dr Dzabic's team concluded, "We have shown that human cytomegalovirus infection of the appendix is associated with acute appendicitis, and possibly with the severity of the disease."
"Our study identified human cytomegalovirus as a pathogen to be sought for in the appendicitis patient group, possibly allowing further medical treatment of these patients."