Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Ahmed Abu Shanab*, Rodrigo M. Quera, Eamonn M.M. Quigley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Despite the current increase in interest in the role of the microbiota in health and disease and the recognition, for over 50 years, that an excess of "colonic" type flora in the small intestine could lead to a malabsorption syndrome, small intestinal overgrowth remains poorly defined. This lack of clarity owes much to the difficulties that arise in attempting to arrive at consensus with regard to the diagnosis of this condition: there is currently no gold standard and the commonly available methodologies, the culture of jejunal aspirates and a variety of breath tests, suffer from considerable variations in their performance and interpretation, thereby leading to wild variations in the prevalence of overgrowth in a variety of clinical contexts. Treatment is similarly supported by a scanty evidence base and the most commonly employed antibiotic regimes owe more to custom than clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTextbook of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1405191821, 9781405191821
StatePublished - 16 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Breath tests
  • Intestinal motility
  • Jejunal aspirate
  • Malabsorption
  • Microbiota
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth


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