Thursday, November 24, 2011

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Salmonella enterocolitis - food poisoning

It is a diarrheal disease and is commonly seen in cases of food poisoning.

Man acquires this infection by ingesting contaminated water or food. Water is usually infected by feaces from an infected animal or human. Poultry and eggs also comprise an important source of salmonella. The organisms may be present on the outer shell or even in the yolk.

The clinical syndromes that can occur in man includes gastroenteritis, enteric fever and septicaemia.

In the case of enterocolitis, the salmonella bacilli attach themselves to the microvilli of the ileal mucosa by means of adhesins and then invade the cells. They cause massive efflux of fluids and electrolytes.

Clinical presentaion:
There is large volume watery diarrhea, fever, headache, chills, abdominal pain and tenesmus. In simple uncomplicated cases, the diarrhea will last for 3-7 days.
Diagnosis is made by stool culture.

The disease is self limited. Treatment consists only of correcting any fluid and electrolyte imbalance. Antibiotics do not shorten the duration of symptoms.


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