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Small Intestinal Infections


Small intestinal infections are extremely common worldwide. They may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in etiology. Most are foodborne or waterborne, with specific etiologies differing by region and with diverse pathophysiologies. Very young, very old, and immune-deficient individuals are the most vulnerable to morbidity or mortality from small intestinal infections. There have been significant advances in diagnostic sophistication with the development and early application of molecular diagnostic assays, though these tests have not become mainstream. The lack of rapid diagnoses combined with the self-limited nature of small intestinal infections has hampered the development of specific and effective treatments other than oral rehydration. Antibiotics are not indicated in the absence of an etiologic diagnosis, and not at all in the case of some infections.

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Correspondence to Donald P. Kotler.

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Munot, K., Kotler, D.P. Small Intestinal Infections. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 18, 31 (2016).

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  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Foodborne infections
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Epidemiology
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Nosocomial infections