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Fatal infections in protein-calorie malnourished children with thymolymphatic atrophy.
  1. D T Purtilo,
  2. D H Connor


    The clinicopathological features of 25 children who died with protein-calorie malnutrition were studied. All but four subjects were found at necropsy to have nutritional thymectomy and all but 3 died of infectious diseases. The infectious agents were chiefly intracellular micro-organisms including miliary tuberculosis, Herpes simplex, varicella, measles, Pneumocystis carinii, and Plasmodium falciparum. Staphylococcal infections, salmonellosis, shigellosis, strongyloidiasis, and hookworm were other significant infectious agents. Nutritionally acquired defective immunity, especially cell-mediated immunity, probably permitted these infectious agents to multiply and to disseminate widely.

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