Post-infection Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2021 Jun;50(2):445-461. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2021.02.007. Epub 2021 Apr 23.


Epidemiologic data support that acute gastrointestinal infection is one of the strongest risk factors for development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Risk of post-infection IBS (PI-IBS) seems to be greater with bacterial and protozoal than viral enterocolitis. Younger individuals, women, and those with severe enterocolitis are more likely to develop PI-IBS. Disease mechanisms in animal models and humans involve chronic perturbation of intestinal microbiome, epithelial and neuronal remodeling, and immune activation. These mechanisms can lead to luminal (increased proteolytic activity, altered bile acid composition) and physiologic (increased permeability, transit changes, and visceral hypersensitivity) alterations that can mediate PI-IBS symptoms.

Keywords: Bacteria; Barrier function; Diarrhea; Gut-brain axis; Infectious gastroenteritis; Inflammation; Microbiome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Infections*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / etiology