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Symptom profiling for infectious intestinal disease (IID): a secondary data analysis of the IID2 study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sarah O'Brien



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Less than half of stool samples from people symptomatic with infectious intestinal disease (IID) will identify a causative organism. A secondary data analysis was undertaken to explore whether symptomology alone could be used to make inferences about causative organisms. Data were utilised from the Second Study of Infectious Intestinal Disease in the Community. A total of 844 cases were analysed. Few symptoms differentiated individual pathogens, but grouping pathogens together showed that viral IID was more likely when symptom onset was in winter (odds ratio (OR) 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16–3.75) or spring (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.11–3.33), the patient was aged under 5 years (OR 3.63, 95% CI 2.24–6.03) and there was loss of appetite (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.29–3.72). The odds of bacterial IID were higher with diarrhoea in the absence of vomiting (OR 3.54, 95% CI 2.37–5.32), diarrhoea which persisted for >3 days (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.82–3.99), bloody diarrhoea (OR 4.17, 95% CI 1.63–11.83) and fever (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.11–2.53). Symptom profiles could be of value to help guide clinicians and public health professionals in the management of IID, in the absence of microbiological confirmation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Donaldson AL, Clough HE, O'Brien SJ, Harris JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Epidemiology and Infection

Year: 2019

Volume: 147

Online publication date: 28/06/2019

Acceptance date: 04/06/2019

Date deposited: 07/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0950-2688

ISSN (electronic): 1469-4409

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0950268819001201

PubMed id: 31364562


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Funder referenceFunder name
NIHR HPRU 2012-10038