Show Summary Details
Page of

Gastrointestinal infections 

Gastrointestinal infections
Gastrointestinal infections

Peter Davey

, Mark Wilcox

, William Irving

, and Guy Thwaites

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 April 2021

On any one day 200 million people are suffering from acute infective gastroenteritis. Restoration of fluids and electrolytes is the mainstay of treatment; oral rehydration therapy has had a significant impact in reducing mortality in developing countries. Antibiotics are not indicated unless there are signs of systemic infection and carry the risk of directly irritating an inflamed bowel mucosa. About 20 per cent of cases of antibiotic-associated diarrh-ea are caused by tox-in producing strains of Clostridium difficile. All antibiotics may induce C. difficile infection and toxin production, but clindamycin, and broad-spectrum β‎-lactam antibiotics (especially amoxicillin, ampicillin, and cephalosporins) and quinolones are most commonly incriminated. C. difficile infection should be suspected in any patient with diarrhoea in hospital, in any patient who has recently been in hospital or any patient who has recently received antibiotics in the community. Oral metronidazole or vancomycin is usually effective but recurrence is common.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.