With 17 reported cases of salmonella linked to cantaloupe resulting in hospitalizations, what’s happening to them?
Formerly known as Reiter’s syndrome, the term reactive arthritis refers to inflammation of one or more joints following an infection at a location away from the affected joints. The main site of infection is the gastrointestinal tract. And reactive arthritis can occur after infection, meaning the infection may not be active when it is diagnosed. many bacteria including SalmonellaCan cause reactive arthritis.(1) And although the resulting joint pain and swelling may heal completely over time, permanent damage to the joints may occur.(2)
Symptoms of reactive arthritis include pain and swelling in the knees, ankles, feet and heels. Less frequently, the upper limbs may be affected, including the wrists, elbows, and fingers. Tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) or enthesitis (inflammation where the tendons attach to the bone) may occur. Other symptoms may include prostatitis, cervicitis, urethritis (inflammation of the prostate gland, cervix, or urethra), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the membrane lining the eyelid), or uveitis (inflammation of the inner eye). Ulcers and skin rashes are less common. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may occur anywhere from three days to six weeks after the preceding infection and may involve one or more joints, although usually six or less. Although most cases resolve within a few months, some may continue to have complications for years. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms.(3)
irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. The major symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, ranging from constipation to diarrhea, or alternating diarrhea and constipation. Abdominal pain is usually cramping in nature, but the nature and location can vary. In some patients, defecation reduces pain, but in others, defecation may increase pain. Additional symptoms may include bloating, straining when defecating, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.
The observation that IBS symptoms may be triggered by a gastrointestinal infection dates back to the 1950s. The mechanisms are not known but include changes in the microbiome, the use of antibiotics to treat infections, and an increase in enteroendocrine cells.
Another consequence of infectious gastroenteritis is disruption of normal gut flora. Studies on post-infectious IBS have provided etiological insight into the pathogenesis of IBS. It is well documented that after infectious gastroenteritis, more than 10% of affected individuals develop post-infectious IBS.(4) The risk of post-infectious IBS appears to be higher in bacterial gastroenteritis than in viral gastroenteritis.
(1) Look “Reactivate arthritis.” Questions and Answers about. NP, and Web. 12 November 2015.
(3) “Reactivate arthritis.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, October 2016. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/reactive-arthritis.
(4) Ng, Q.X., Soh, A., Loke, W., Lim, D.Y., and Yeoh, W.S. (2018). The role of inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Journal of Inflammation Research, Eleven, 345-349. https://doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S174982