Standard Operating Procedures

Infectious Intestinal Disease: Public Health & Clinical Guidance

The aim of the document is to provide guidance on the public health and clinical management of cases of IID, including exclusion, requirements for microbiological clearance, management of contacts etc. Its aim is to guide the practice of Consultants in Public Health Medicine and General Practitioners as well as Consultants in Clinical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics, General Medicine and Occupational Medicine. HPSC is particularly grateful to Professor Martin Cormican, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital Galway, and to the Quality in Practice Committee of the Irish College of General Practitioners for their comments and assistance in devising these Guidelines. HPSC is also very grateful to the Irish Society of Clinical Microbiologists for their endorsement of this document.

PLEASE NOTE: The advice contained in this document supersedes all previous advice in relation to Infectious Intestinal Diseases, particularly in relation to exclusion and treatment. When existing guidance documents are revised they will be updated to be coherent with this guidance.

Microbiological Clearance

NB: From the end of 2015, the period required for 'microbiological clearance' has changed. 

Beginning in January 2016 - in cases of VTEC and Shigella infection - the interval separating the obtaining of two stool samples from a subject for the purposes of establishing "microbiological clearance" will reduce from 48 hours to 24 hours. So, in the case of confirmed infection with all VTEC serotypes and certain Shigella species (S. boydiiS. dysenteriae and S. flexneri), microbiological clearance is now defined by as being:

Microbiological Clearance: Two consecutive negative stool samples taken at least 24 hours apart. In the case of symptomatic cases, both negative stool samples must have been taken after recovery from diarrhoea.

Please see specific guidance on microbiological clearance relating to shigellosis in gbMSM. The advice relating to clearance for Paratyphoid and Typhoid is unchanged.

Updated: 8 August 2023