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GI Infection and Infestation

By Atenodoro R. Ruiz, Jr., MD

Acute bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections may cause transient malabsorption, probably as a result of temporary, superficial damage to the villi and microvilli. Chronic bacterial infections of the small bowel are uncommon, apart from blind loops, systemic sclerosis, and diverticula. Intestinal bacteria may use up dietary vitamin B12 and other nutrients, perhaps interfere with enzyme systems, and cause mucosal injury.

* This is the Professional Version. *