Background: Human intestinal spirochetosis (HIS) is an infectious disease of large intestines caused by Brachyspira species, and most HIS cases are asymptomatic or exhibit mild intestinal symptoms. The host reaction to HIS remains unclear, and we examined HIS-related mucosal inflammatory features histologically.
Method: From the archival HIS cases in a single medical center, 24 endoscopically taken specimens from 14 HIS cases (M:F = 10:4; 28-73 yrs) were selected as not containing polypoid or neoplastic lesions. Stromal neutrophils, eosinophils, and mast cells, and intraepithelial neutrophils and eosinophils, (sNeu, sEo, sMast, iNeu, and iEo, respectively) were counted, and the presence or absence of lymphoid follicles/aggregates (LFs) was also examined. Association of the above inflammation parameters and spirochetal infection parameters (such as degrees of characteristic fringe distribution, of spirochetal cryptal invasion, and of spirochetal intraepithelial invasion) were also analysed.
Results: iNeu was observed in 29.2%, iEo in 58.3%, and LFs in 50.0% of the specimens. Maximal counts of sNeu, sEo, sMast, iNeu, and iEo averaged 8.4, 21.5, 6.0, 0.5 and 1.5, respectively. Strong correlation between the maximum counts of iNeu and iEo (p < 0.001, r = 0.81), and correlations between those of iEo and sNeu (p = 0.0012, r = 0.62) and between those of iEo and sEo (p = 0.026, r = 0.45) were observed. iNeu was influenced by fringe formation (p < 0.05) and spirochetal crypt involvement (p < 0.05). Conclusions: HIS was accompanied by inflammatory reactions, and among these, mucosal eosinophilic infiltration may be a central indicator and host reaction of HIS.