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Pleyer, U.; Klauß, V.; Wilking, H. and Nentwich, M. M. (2016): Tropenophthalmologie. Intraokulare Entzündungen bei „neuen“ Infektionserregern und Reiseinfektionen. In: Ophthalmologe, Vol. 113, No. 1: pp. 35-46

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A number of "new" (emerging) infections that can also cause inflammatory eye changes are appearing and becoming increasingly important. In the past, diseases such as chikungunya, dengue fever or West Nile virus infections were endemic in tropical regions, but are now expanding worldwide and causing significant morbidity and even mortality. "Globalization" and human migration are important factors leading to the import of these infections. Climate changes are probably even more important. Increasing temperatures provide suitable conditions for new vectors, and may lead to autochthonous transmission of infectious pathogens. Diagnosis of these diseases requires not only careful assessment of medical and travel history, but also the application of specific laboratory diagnostic tests. A broad spectrum of ocular involvement has been reported, with frequent posterior segment involvement. Emerging infections should therefore be considered in the differential diagnosis of retinitis, chorioretinitis, retinal vasculitis and optic neuropathy in a patient living in or traveling back from an endemic area. Since these infections are often vector (insect) borne and effective treatments are almost uniformly lacking, prevention is at least as important as prompt diagnosis and initiation of supportive care. Here, we focus on Chikungunya, Dengue fever, Ebola fever, the West Nile virus and Rickettsioses, which frequently demonstrate ocular involvement.

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