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Long-term Antibiotic Therapy in Tropical Sprue

Ann Intern Med. 1965;63(4):619-634. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-63-4-619
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The etiology and pathogenesis of tropical sprue are still unknown. The intestinal malabsorption that characterizes this disease is associated with alterations in the small intestinal mucosa. Folic acid deficiency is not believed to be the cause of these lesions, but folic acid (1) or vitamin B12 (2, 3) therapy usually results in rapid clinical improvement, hematologic remission, and some decreases in the jejunal abnormalities. However, in spite of this therapy, malabsorption continues in at least two thirds of the patients (4), and some remain incapacitated.

An infectious cause of tropical sprue has been suspected, but no etiologic agent has been


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