Original Article

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 11, pp 3242-3245

Pathogen-Specific Risk of Celiac Disease Following Bacterial Causes of Foodborne Illness: A Retrospective Cohort Study

  • Mark S. RiddleAffiliated withEnteric Diseases Department, Infectious Disease Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center Email author 
  • , Joseph A. MurrayAffiliated withMayo Clinic
  • , Brooks D. CashAffiliated withWalter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • , Mark PimentelAffiliated withCedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • , Chad K. PorterAffiliated withEnteric Diseases Department, Infectious Disease Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center

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The US CDC recently estimated over 2 million foodborne illnesses annually are caused by 4 major enteropathogens: non-typhoid Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Shigella spp., and Yersinia enterocolitica. While recent data suggest functional gastrointestinal disorders are associated with these infections, studies linking foodborne illness to celiac disease (CD) are limited. We utilized a US Department of Defense medical encounter database to evaluate the risk of CD following select foodborne infections.


We identified subjects with acute gastroenteritis between 1998 and 2009 attributed to Salmonella (nontyphoidal) spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter spp., or Y. enterocolitica and matched each with up to 4 unexposed subjects. Exposed and unexposed subjects were followed for incident CD diagnosis for their entire military record duration (or a minimum of 1 year). Relative risks were calculated using modified Poisson regression to determine the relationship between pathogen-attributable gastroenteritis and CD while controlling for covariates.


A total of 1,753 pathogen-specific gastroenteritis cases (Campylobacter: 738; Salmonella: 624; Shigella: 376; Yersinia: 17) were identified and followed for a median of 3.8 years. The incidence (per 100,000 person-years) of CD was 0.05. We found a suggested risk of CD after Campylobacter, but not other foodborne infection etiologies.


These data support a previous study demonstrating increased risk of CD following Campylobacteriosis and highlight the need for additional research into how infections might trigger CD in susceptible individuals.


Epidemiology Cohort study Campylobacteriosis Celiac disease Foodborne illness