Gastroenteritis causes

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Sun, 04/28/2013
Gastroenteritis causes

What causes gastroenteritis? Stomach flu causes are virus (rotavirus, norovirus), bacterial (campylobacter) and parasite’s infection.

What are the causes of gastroenteritis?

Most common causes of stomach flu cases in children are by rotavirus. In adults, the stomach flu causes are by norovirus and campylobacter. The less common causes are other bacteria or their toxins and parasites.

Gastroenteritis can affect a person or a group, who all ate the same food or drink water, which is contaminated. It can also affect those who are in close contact with a person who is infectious.

Viral gastroenteritis

Virus is a leading gastroenteritis cause in both children and adults. There are many types of viruses can cause gastroenteritis. The most common ones are:

  • Norovirus or Norwalk-like virus affects about 10% cases of gastroenteritis affect’s children. Norovirus is the major gastroenteritis cause among adults.\
  • Rotavirus is the major cause of severe gastroenteritis in children. It can also affect adults who are closely in contact with the infected children with the virus; however, less common due to acquired immunity.
  • Astrovirus
  • Enteric adenovirus

Bacterial gastroenteritis

Bacteria cause gastroenteritis in both adults and children. In children, bacteria are the causes in approximately 15% of cases. There are many types of bacteria can cause gastroenteritis. The most common ones are:

  • Escherichia coli
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter jenuni is the primary cause of bacterial gastroenteritis out of this half of these cases is linked with poultry exposure.
  • Shigella
  • Clostridium difficile is an important diarrhea cause occurs more often in the elderly. Infants can carry it without developing symptoms.
  • Staphylococcus aureus infectious diarrhea may occur in those who have used antibiotics.

If the food has contaminated with bacteria and kept at room temperature over several hours, the bacteria can multiply and increases the risk in those who consume this contaminated food.

Some of the food, which is associated with infection, is raw or partially cooked meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, unpasteurized milk, and soft cheeses.

In the developing countries, cholera is a common gastroenteritis cause and transmitted by contaminated food or water.

Acid-suppressing medication appeared to increase the infection risk after exposure to a number of organisms. The risk is greater in case of a person on proton pump inhibitors than on H2 antagonists.


A number of protozoans (diverse group of unicellular eukaryotic organisms) can cause gastroenteritis. The most common among them are:

  • Giardia lamblia
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Cryptosporidium

These agents comprise about 10% of cases in children.

Non-infectious gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis developed without infection is non-infectious gastroenteritis, causes of this gastroenteritis are:

  • Use of NSAIDs medication is the more common cause.
  • Consume lactose-containing foods by a lactose intolerant person.
  • Ingest gluten-containing foods by a celiac disease person.
  • Crohn’s disease is a non-infectious severe gastroenteritis.
  • Ciguatera poisoning by consuming contaminated predatory fish.
  • Scombroid is associate with the ingestion of certain types of spoiled fish.
  • Tetrodotoxin poisoning is associated with puffer fish.
  • Botulism typically is due to improperly preserved food.