Journal Mobile

S Dundas, WTA Todd
Journal Issue: 
Volume 36: Issue 3: 2006




Although infectious agents remain the most common causes of acute diarrhoea  and  fever  amongst  otherwise  healthy  adults,  their  true  incidence remains  considerably  underestimated  and  the  epidemiology  is  changing. Campylobacter species  are  now  the  most  frequently  isolated  organisms  to  cause sporadic infective gastroenteritis in the UK. Norovirus infections have increased in importance  over  the  last  decade  whilst Salmonella infections  have  declined. Escherischia coli O157 infection has attracted significant media interest but remains a rare, if serious, cause of illness.  A clear history and targeted investigations will help to identify the causative organism.  Negative stool cultures are relevant and should  lead  to  consideration  of  alternative  diagnoses.    Management  involves careful  infection  control,  appropriate  fluid  replacement,  and  the  avoidance  of antibiotic  therapy  except  in  specific  circumstances.  The  significant  likelihood  of alternative, non-infectious causes of acute diarrhoeal illness must be considered, particularly in the elderly