Acupuncture has been reported to be effective for treating acute bacillary dysentery (8-10). Its effect is comparable with that of conventional medicines such as furazolidone, but the use of acupuncture in the first line of defence against this disease is not practicable-daily performance of needling procedures is much more complicated than administering oral drug therapy. However, when no antidysenteric agent is available or the patient is allergic to antidysenteric agents, acupuncture may occasionally be used.
The results of research on the effects of acupuncture treatments that stimulate the immune system suggest that acupuncture may be of use in conjunction with other medical therapies for treating infections (84).
The effect of acupuncture on the immune system has been tested in hepatitis B virus carriers. In a comparative study, acupuncture-moxibustion is apparently superior to herbal medications in producing hepatitis B e core antibodies and reducing hepatitis B surface antigen (85). For epidemic haemorrhagic fever, compared with steroid and supportive treatments, moxibustion shortened the period of oliguria and promoted the reduction of kidney swelling (86).
Acupuncture may be useful in treating pertussis (whooping cough), by relieving cough as well as promoting a cure (87).