Evidence-based guidelines for managing patients with intra-abdominal infection were prepared by an Expert Panel of the Surgical Infection Society and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. These updated guidelines replace those previously published in 2002 and 2003. The guidelines are intended for treating patients who either have these infections or may be at risk for them. New information, based on publications from the period 2003-2008, is incorporated into this guideline document. The panel has also added recommendations for managing intra-abdominal infection in children, particularly where such management differs from that of adults; for appendicitis in patients of all ages; and for necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates.