Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Karen E. Nelson

Human Microbiota and Pathogen-Associated Gastrointestinal Disease

  • Bonnie P. Youmans
  • Nadim J. Ajami
  • Sarah K. Highlander
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6418-1_72-1



Pathogen-associated diarrhea is defined as the passing of at least three watery or bloody stools within a 24-h period caused by an infectious agent. This overview will focus on common bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens that cause diarrhea.


Diarrheal diseases affect approximately one billion individuals worldwide each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that more than two million deaths were caused by diarrheal diseases in 2008. In the USA alone, these illnesses result in greater than $77 billion in annual economic losses (Scharff 2012). Infectious diarrhea is generally transmitted via the fecal-oral route and by ingestion of contaminated food or water. General symptoms can include abdominal pain and cramping, tenesmus, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever. Stools are watery and may contain blood or white cells depending on the etiologic agent.

Many pathogens can cause diarrhea. In about half of...


Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Diarrheal Disease Bloody Diarrhea Shiga Toxin Infectious Diarrhea 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie P. Youmans
    • 1
  • Nadim J. Ajami
    • 2
  • Sarah K. Highlander
    • 3
  1. 1.Veterinary and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of MinnesotaSaint PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Virology and MicrobiologyCenter for Metagenomics and Microbiome ResearchHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Genomic MedicineJ. Craig Venter InstituteLa JollaUSA