Persistent Diarrhea

What is persistent diarrhea? 

Diarrhea symptoms that last 14 days or longer are generally classified as persistent . The differential diagnosis of persistent diarrhea differs somewhat from acute or chronic diarrhea. In terms of infection, bacterial enteric pathogens, parasites, and protozoa are more likely to result in persistent disease and viral pathogens are less common. The following organisms should be considered in the differential diagnosis of persistent diarrhea:

  • • Bacteria: Campylobacter, Vibrio, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Salmonella, Clostridium difficile, syphilis, chlamydia (lymphogranuloma venereum [LGV])
  • • Parasites (helminths): Strongyloides infection may lead to colitis
  • • Protozoa: Giardia, Isospora, Cyclospora, Cryptosporidium
  • • Malabsorptive: Tropical sprue, celiac sprue, lactose intolerance
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