Gastrointestinal Infections


Amebiasis is caused by the intestinal protozoan, Entamoeba histolytica. Infection results from ingestion of fecally contaminated food, such as garden vegetables or by direct fecal-oral transmission. Most persons are asymptomatic or have minimal diarrheal symptoms. In a few patients, invasive intestinal or extraintestinal (e.g., liver, and less commonly kidney, bladder, male or female genitalia, skin, lung, brain) infection results.

Gastrointestinal Infections

Gastrointestinal infections are among the more common causes of morbidity and mortality around the world. Most are caused by viruses and some are caused by bacteria or other organisms. In underdeveloped and developing countries, acute gastroenteritis involving diarrhea is the leading cause of mortality in infants and children younger than 5 years of age. In the United States, there are approximately 211 million episodes of acute gastroenteritis each year, causing over 900,000 hospitalizations and over 6000 deaths.

Bacterial Infections

Enterotoxigenic (cholera-like) Diarrhea. Escherichia coli. Pseudomembranous Colitis (Clostridium difficile).

Invasive (dysentery-like) Diarrhea

Bacillary Dysentery (Shigellosis). Salmonellosis. Campylobacteriosis.