Diagnosis and management of liver abscesses

A liver abscess is a pus filled space-occupying lesion in the liver that is caused by infection. Although liver abscesses are uncommon, with an incidence of 2.3 per 100,000, it is the most common type of visceral abscess (i.e. abscess within an intra-abdominal organ). Pyogenic and amoebic liver abscesses are the two dominant causes, although it can rarely be caused by fungi e.g. Candida spp.

Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever (also known as enteric fever) is a multiorgan, systemic infection transmitted by the bacillus, Salmonella enterica serotype typhi (Salmonella typhi) and Salmonella enterica serotype paratyphi A, B, C. If untreated, this infection may have severe complications, including death. Survivors may suffer from neuropsychiatric manifestations, and it was this that prompted the ancient Greeks to call the infection ‘typhoid’ meaning ‘cloud’ to explain these clinical manifestations.

When should we use antibiotics in viral infections?

A virus is a small infectious organism that invades a living cell to reproduce. When the virus invades human cells it’s called a viral infection. This does not always imply that disease is also present. Disease represents the hosts response to the viral infection, when it is severe enough to evoke a recognisable pattern of clinical symptoms. This may be influenced by multiple factors such as port of entry, geographical location, seasonality and most importantly the host itself. The vigour of the humoral- and cell-mediated immune response from the host will determine whether clinical illness will develop or not. Some important consideration with the severity of viral infections depend on the type of virus, the age at the time of the infection, pre-existing or co-infections, such as bacterial infections, and the state of the immune system of the host.

Superficial fungal infections

Fungal infections of the skin and nails have been found in the last few decades to affect 20–25% of the world’s population, making them one of the most frequent forms of infection.


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Infectious Diseases Updates - 2023 Vol 12 no 1