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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 type 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. 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.
The CDC lists C. Difficile as one of the most common causes of death due to gastroenteritis and suggest that new strains of the bacteria have become more aggressive and dangerious.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/31/2014
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