THERAPY OF THE POSTINFECTIOUS IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: AN UPDATE
After acute infectious gastroenteritis, up to thirty percent of patients present prolonged gastrointestinal symptoms and a part of those affected patients can have the diagnostic criteria for postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome.
Treatment is symptom directed rather than curative and includes agents prescribed for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in general. Prophylaxis or early treatment of acute bacterial diarrhea may reduce the risk of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome development by reducing the occurrence, duration, and severity of the chronic inflammation and mucosal alterations (all these believed to play an important role in disease persistence). Probiotic treatment is effective in restoring the intestinal microbiota in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and in animal models there are improvements of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Fecal microbiota transplantation seems to be one of the most effective methods of treating the postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (with recurrent episodes) caused by Clostridium difficile.