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What is citrobacter bacteria in stool and how can it be treated ?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1980
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I am a 39yr old male. For the past 3+ weeks I have been experiencing nausea, upset stomach, XXXXXXX hued bowel movements (no diarrhea), and some weight loss, which has somewhat stabalized now that i am eating more. I've had bloodcounts done, ultrasound of every organ in the abdomen and stool cultures done. Everything was ok except the doc just called and said they found citrobacter bacteria in the stool culture. Could this be the cause of my symptoms? I have just finished taking an antibiotic (ciphro). However, my symptoms are still there..Shouldn't the antibiotic have worked if my probelm were bacterial? Can bacterial intestinal issues last this long? im worried this is something serious, but all docs seem to think its bacterial.
Wed, 2 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Rajinder Bajoria 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

Citrobacter bacteria is a gram negative coliform organism generally found in the soil, water, sewage & waste water & sometimes in human intestine also.

Generally it does not produce any symptoms, it produces symptoms only in person with weak immune system. Upset stomach & nausea can lead to lose of weight .

There are many stains of citrobacter, you have not mentioned the exact stain. Was the stool culture showed citrobacter to be sensitive to cipro. Sometimes antibiotics don't work as expected.

As your weight has stabilized, so the infection doesn't seem to appear to be serious. But further investigation for blood culture & repeat stool culture are required, & repeat antibiotic course depending upon culture sensitivity report is ideal.

Hope I have answered your query, I will be available to answer your follow up queries.
Wish you Good Health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is citrobacter bacteria in stool and how can it be treated ? 1 hour later
Hi..a few more questions:

1) Can a bacterial infection last this long and be this persistent?
2) based on the symptoms I mentioned (nausea, weight loss, XXXXXXX stool (no diahreaha) do you think this is something serious or do you lean toward a bacterial infection also?

Thanks for your help!
Answered by Dr. Rajinder Bajoria 18 hours later
Hi and thanks again

Sometimes resistance strains of bacteria does not respond well to routine antibiotics. I have come across many incidences of resistant strains. And when 'Bacterial infection' are not treated adequately, they persist to cause symptoms.

Nausea & minor weight loss can accompany infections. But as your weight has stabilized now, it doesn't seem to be a serious condition that we are looking at. I agree with your gastroenterologist that it could be some opportunistic infection.

Hence I would want to look at the stool cultures again to make sure infection has subsided. A stool test for occult blood & colonoscopy may also be something that I would like to consider to rule out other causes, though unlikely. You may discuss these with your primary doctor.

Hope I have answered your query adequately.

“Wish you Good Health and speedy recovery”

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is citrobacter bacteria in stool and how can it be treated ? 46 hours later
Well as of today this has been going on for 4 weeks..not getting woorse, but not getting much better either.

1) In your mind, would there be any reason why the mornings tend to be worse for more nausea, queezy feelings and progressively get better during day? by the afternoon/evening hours i feel great (comparatively).

2) Still experiencing the constant gurgling flip flopping stomach all night (like there's a monster in there). what would cause this? is this a chemical imbalance or something to do with the gas or excess gas in there? it just seems as if my stomach is always "unsettled".

Thanks again for your help.
Answered by Dr. Rajinder Bajoria 4 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Diurnal variations in symptoms occur in certain diseases, in some symptoms are worse in the morning, better by evening & vice versa is also true. As in the night bowel is not evacuated, bacteria or toxins increases in concentration, after bowel evacuation concentration of toxins & bacteria also decreases, so you feel better. Some chemical imbalance can also cause such symptoms or gas forming bacteria are also known to produce such symptoms. Detailed study of gastric juices can rule out the involvement of stomach.

Hope I have answered your query, I will be available to answer your follow up queries.
Wish you Good Health and speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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