A large outbreak of acute gastroenteritis at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates was attributed to food-borne norovirus.
Dr John Marshall and colleagues from Canada undertook a study to determine the incidence and natural history of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The team mailed questionnaires addressing demographics, medical history, acute illness, prior bowel function, and current symptoms to all delegates.
The questionnaires were sent within 1 month of the outbreak.
The investigative team mailed follow-up questionnaires at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months.
|24% reported postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome symptoms at 3 months|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The prevalence of new Rome I IBS among participants with and without acute enteric illness during the outbreak was calculated for each time point.
Risk factors were assessed by multiple logistic regression.
The investigators found that baseline surveys were returned by 139 of 197 delegates.
The team reported that 97%, 96%, 92%, and 83% returned the 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month surveys, respectively.
The investigators found that 77% of respondents reported an acute enteric illness during the outbreak.
The team noted that just under 10% of subjects reported premorbid irritable bowel syndrome.
Among the remainder, 21 of 89 subjects experienced gastroenteritis.
Of these, the team observed that 24% reported symptoms consistent with postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome at 3 months.
The investigators noted that 3% remained well.
At 6, 12, and 24 months, the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome was similar among exposed and non-exposed subjects.
Using further analysis, the team found that vomiting during the acute illness independently predicted risk of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome at 3 months.
Dr Marshall's team concluded, " Postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome is common after presumptive viral gastroenteritis, but might be more transient than after bacterial dysentery."