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Why do many parasites affect the liver?

Graham Clark Graham_Clark at d4.niaid.pc.niaid.nih.gov
Fri Sep 15 14:57:00 EST 1995


Stephen Kayes says:
 
-But as regards the disease caused by Entamoeba, liver abscess 
-from this organism is far less common than is amebic hepatitis which is 
-caused by a toxin released from the parasite which is then transported to 
-the liver by the hepatic portal system.  

Whoa! Where did you get this from? Amebic hepatitis does not exist as
a separate entity - signs/symptoms previously called amebic hepatitis
(hepatomegaly, fever, and tenderness) are indicative of an early amebic 
liver abscess. Liver abscess is reported to occur in about 10% of 
patients with invasive disease.

As far as the rest goes, I guess it is just a matter of perspective. I
think almost anywhere in the blood stream or organs of the host would 
provide a fairly rich source of nutrients for a parasite. I don't doubt 
that selection helped determine where parasites reside in their hosts, 
but I am not convinced that nutritional considerations were the major 
driving force. 

As you say, a dialogue on site selection by parasites would be 
most interesting...

Graham (entamoebologist)
___________________________
C. Graham Clark, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases,
National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, MD 20892-0425, USA
Tel: 301-496-4740
FAX: 301-402-4941
e-mail: gclark at nih.gov





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