Colonic infections

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Epidemics of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the Pacific Northwest of the United States have highlighted the presence of colonic pathogens in the food chain. Risk factors for the disease and the properties of similar E. coli and Shigella are discussed, and advances in our understanding of Clostridium difficile-associated colitis and diarrhea, Campylobacter-induced dysentery, and illness due to Entamoeba histolytica are presented. New insights into how bacteria survive stomach acidity and how they may be affected by breast milk, as well as modes of intracellular spread may provide the basis for new therapeutic modalities. The direct colonic damage HIV, itself, causes is discussed.

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