Gastrointestinal infections are caused by viruses or bacteria and lead to gastroenteritis or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Estimates suggest there are more 200 million cases of infectious gastroenteritis in the United States each year. Common gastrointestinal infections include E. coli infections, rotavirus, salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus infections.
Symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, bloody stools, and vomiting. Dehydration is also common in patients with gastrointestinal infections.
Treatment of a gastrointestinal infection depends on the cause of the infection but may involve antivirals and antibiotics. Staying hydrated is also important. Drug classes commonly prescribed to treat gastrointestinal infection are sulfonamide and trimethoprim antibiotic combinations, anaerobicides, penicillinase-sensitive penicillin antibiotics, intestinal antibiotics, 3rd generation cephalosporin antibiotics, carbapenem antibiotics, monobactam antibiotics, and antinematodal agents.