Fast Five Quiz: Common Food Poisoning Pathogens

Richard H. Sinert, DO


November 12, 2018

Patients with E coli dysentery (caused by enteroinvasive E coli or enterohemorrhagic E coli ) have fever, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration. Intestinal mucosa produces a significant inflammatory response. Clinically, patients with E coli dysentery present with fever and have blood and polymorphonuclear leukocytes in their stool. The differential diagnoses of E coli dysentery include shigellosis and amebic dysentery.

Symptoms of E coli O157:H7 infection typically start 3-4 days after exposure; however, individuals may become ill as quickly as 1 day after exposure or as long as 1 week after exposure.

Definitive diagnosis of E coli infection is based on the isolation of the organism in the microbiology laboratory from clinical specimens. Specimens may be blood, urine, sputum, or other fluids such as cerebrospinal, biliary, abscess, or peritoneal.

Antidiarrheal medications are not routinely indicated in patients with E coli infections because they slow down the digestive system and reduce the body's ability to get rid of toxins.

For more on E coli infection, read here.


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