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Diagnosing Infections Acquired from Around the Globe

“Rare “Can’t Miss” ENT Infections: TB, Leishmaniasis, Lyme Disease, and Others”

Saturday, October 3, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

International Symposium

We’re a population on the go. Whether it’s for business, pleasure, or moving to a new locale, millions of people travel worldwide every year—and it’s quite possible to pick up a rare infection while doing so.

Marlene Durand, MD

“Rare ENT infections may be seen in any part of the world due to travel and immigration,” said Marlene L. Durand, MD, director of  Infectious Disease Service at Massachusetts Eye & Ear, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. Some infections occur primarily in certain regions, Dr. Durand said.  For example, the vast majority of rhinosporidiosis infections have been reported from India and Sri Lanka, and most paracoccidioidomycosis infections have been reported from South America especially Brazil. “In patients with clinical features of these infections, obtaining a history of travel or residence in an endemic region is crucial,” she continued.

But not all rare infections originate in other countries. “Travel or residence within the U.S. should also be queried by the clinician, because some infections are highly endemic in certain regions,” Dr. Durand said. “Lyme disease, for example, may be a consideration in patients presenting with acute facial palsy. Obtaining a history of travel to Lyme-endemic regions in the U.S. such as the Northeast and upper Midwest can be very helpful.”

In some instances, the travel does not have to have been recent. “Some infections have a long latency before clinical manifestation,” Dr. Durand said, “so travel occurring months or years earlier should not be discounted.” For example, patients can present with mucosal leishmaniasis involving the nose, mouth, or throat months or years after travel or residence in certain regions of Latin America where relevant species of the Leishmania parasite are seen.

In testing for a rare ENT infection, Dr. Durand said physicians should understand the strengths and weaknesses of various diagnostic tools. “Many rare ENT infections require a biopsy for pathology and culture in order to make a diagnosis,” Dr. Durand said. “If the clinician suspects a rare ENT infection, consultation with an infectious disease physician may be helpful.”

Presenting alongside Dr. Durand are Rui Imamura, MD, of Director Service of Bucopharyngolaryngology at Clinics Hospital at the University of Sao Paulo and president of the Brazilian Academy of Laryngology and Voice; Professor Mohan Kameswaran from Madras ENT Research Foundation Pvt Ltd. in Chennai, India; and Diana M. Murillo-Omuku, MD, professor at Military University Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela.

If you miss this live event, it will become available in the on-demand library of education content within 72 hours following the presentation.