Most infections associated with the gastrointestinal tract are a result of another disease process and therapy almost always includes surgery. Antibiotics are used to treat sepsis and local extension of infection as an adjunct to correction of the anatomic derangement.
The exception is gastroenteritis caused by the ingestion of pathogenic bacteria (e.g. Salmonella sp., Campylobacter sp.). Most cases of bacterial gastroenteritis are self-limiting and do not require antibiotic therapy.
Clostridium difficile disease is an increasingly common and more difficult to treat condition for which specific detailed advice on management are provided here.