Gastroenteritis is a common disease of the gut that can be highly infectious and make you feel sick very quickly. It is triggered when the digestive system becomes infected and inflamed, causing abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting with severity ranging from a mild tummy upset to severe and life-threatening dehydration.

Gastroenteritis is a major burden in developing countries and can be fatal for infants, older adults and people with compromised immune systems. Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five and kills around 525,000 children globally every year.

Causes of gastroenteritis

Risk factors

Types of gastroenteritis

Symptoms of gastroenteritis

Treating gastroenteritis

Prevention of gastroenteritis

Our gastroenteritis research

As antimicrobial resistance becomes more widespread and current treatment measures become less effective, the development of new therapeutics and vaccines for gastroenteritis is more important than ever.

Despite medical advances, gastroenteritis still kills many children and elderly people each year, particularly in developing countries. Our researchers are working on better vaccines and therapeutics to prevent severe gastroenteritis and save lives. This includes research to harness the protective properties of the human microbiome.

Hudson Institute researchers are using specialist preclinical infection models and genetic screens to lay the groundwork for improved drug efficacy and to understand the infection mechanisms of a diverse range of bacteria and viruses that cause life threatening disease. This work has the potential to rapidly advance the treatment of gastroenteritis and the prevention of serious illness or death.  

Understanding the infection biology of E. coli and Shigella

Professor Elizabeth Hartland , Director and CEO of Hudson Institute of Medical ResearchMolecular studies. Professor Elizabeth Hartland’s team studies the protein secretion systems of bacteria including E. coli and Shigella that enable them to cause gastrointestinal infections. These systems are used by the bacteria to inject proteins into human cells that can manipulate cell processes and promote bacterial growth. The aim of this work is to investigate how these injected proteins interfere with host cell function, inflammation and the innate immune response that is needed to fight infection.

Team | Professor Elizabeth Hartland, Dr Cristina Giogha, Dr Jiyao Gan

Understanding the role of a toxin in Campylobacter gastroenteritis

Diarrhoea-causing bacteria adapted to spread in hospitals

Gastroenteritis collaborators

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