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Bacteria (Clostridium difficile, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter, and E coli)
Bacteria may cause gastroenteritis directly by infecting the lining of the stomach and intestine. Some bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus produce a toxin that is the cause of the symptoms. Staph is a common cause of food poisoning.
Escherichia coli infection can cause significant complications. E. coli O157:H7 (one type of the bacteria) can cause complications in approximately 10% of affected individuals (for example, kidney failure in children [hemolytic-uremic syndrome or HUS], bloody diarrhea, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura [TTP] in the elderly.
Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter
Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter are also common causes of illness.
Clostridium difficile (C difficile) bacteria may overgrow in the large intestine after a person has been on antibiotics for an infection. Although almost any antibiotic can lead to this condition, the most common antibiotics that pose a potential risk for C difficile include:
Other risk factors for C difficile infection include hospitalization, individuals 65 years of age or older, and pre-existing chronic medical conditions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/11/2016
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