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Bacterial gastroenteritis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Bacterial infections are responsible for 10%-20% of all cases of acute gastroenteritis (1)

This condition is the result of bacterial interference of mucosal integrity. This may occur due to:

  • direct invasion of the bacterium through the mucosa to the reticuloendothelial system
  • toxin release by enteropathogens or by minimally invasive bacteria
  • adherence to and disruption of the enterocyte brush border (2).

Some enteropathic E. coli operate by all three mechanisms, the genetic determinants of virulence being carried in chromosomes or plasmids.

Majority of bacterial gastroenteritis cases are self-limiting and neither empirical antimicrobial therapy nor bacterial stool culture is indicated (2).


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