Effect of antibiotics on food intake and absorption of nutrients for children with diarrhea due to Shigella

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


The effect of antibiotic therapy on intake of food and absorption of nutrients for 19 male children aged 1-5 years with suspected shigella infection was studied. The children were admitted to the hospital with acute diarrhea, high fever, abdominal pain, and greater than or equal to 25 red blood cells and white blood cells per high-power field in the stool. Microbiologic diagnosis was made within 48 hours of admission. On the basis of clinical and microbiologic criteria, children were classified as having mild or severe infection. Ten children with mild infection did not receive antibiotics, whereas nine children with severe infection were treated with ampicillin. After the children were rehydrated, a 72-hour balance study was carried out during the acute stage of infection with Shigella and was repeated 2 weeks after recovery. The levels of consumption of food and absorption of nutrients were estimated. During the acute stage of infection, such levels were higher for the children treated with antibiotics than for the untreated group. During the recovery phase, the levels of intake of food and absorption of nutrients were equal for both groups. Thus, children who are treated with appropriate antibiotics not only may recover from infection with Shigella more rapidly, but they also may be able to absorb nutrients more efficiently.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Reviews of Infectious Diseases