Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Infectious Colitis

  • Anne Jouret-MourinEmail author
Reference work entry


Acute infectious colitis (AIC); Acute infectious-type colitis (AITC); Acute self-limited colitis (ASLC); Dysentery


Infectious colitis corresponds to the inflammation of the colon caused by an infectious agent including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungus, or parasites.


In western countries, infectious colitis is most commonly due to bacterial and viral pathogens but it may also be caused by protozoa, fungus, and parasites. The last three pathogens are mostly observed in immune-compromised patients or travellers coming from developing countries. Infection caused by bacteria or viruses usually resolves within a few weeks without residual histologic findings.

Many enteric infections are transmitted to humans through contaminated food and water. Populations in less developed countries often live in ramshackle housing without sanitary environment, which facilitates greatly the occurrence of colonic infections. In industrialized countries, other and different...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Bok, K., et al. (2012). Norovirus gastroenteritis in immunocompromised patients. The New England Journal of Medicine, 367, 2126–2132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Jouret-Mourin, A., & Geboes, K. (2002). Infectious colitis. Acta Endoscopica, 32, 167–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kumar, N. B., et al. (1982). The histopathologic spectrum of acute self-limited colitis (acute infectious-type colitis). The American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 6, 523–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lamps L. W. (2009). In LW Lamps (Ed.), Surgical pathology of the gastrointestinal system: Bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Schumacher, G., et al. (1994). A prospective study of first attacks of IBD and infectious colitis. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 29, 318–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Surawicz, C. M., et al. (1984). Mucosal biopsy diagnosis of colitis; acute self-limited colitis and idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology, 107, 755–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Udayakumar, N., et al. (2011). Infectious colitis. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 27, 66–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyCliniques Universitaires St. Luc, UCLBrusselsBelgium