Salmonella enterocolitis

Alternative Names

Salmonellosis

Definition of Salmonella enterocolitis

Salmonella enterocolitis is an infection in the lining of the small intestine caused by Salmonella bacteria.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Salmonella enterocolitis is one of the most common types of food poisoning. It occurs when you swallow food or water that is contaminated with the salmonella bacteria. Any food can become contaminated if food preparation conditions and equipment are unsanitary.

Symptoms

The time between infection and symptom development is 8 – 48 hours. Symptoms include:

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam. You may have signs of a tender abdomen and tiny pink spots on the skin called rose spots.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to replace fluids and electrolytes lost by diarrhea. Electrolyte solutions are available without a prescription. Antidiarrheal medications are generally not given because they may prolong the infection. If you have severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome is usually good. In otherwise healthy people, symptoms should go away in 2 – 5 days.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/25/2010

Salmonella typhi organism
Digestive system
Digestive system organs

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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