Enteric pathogens and reactive arthritis: Systematic review and meta-analyses of pathogen-associated reactive arthritis

Kristen Pogreba-Brown*, Erika Austhof, Xin Tang, Mario J. Trejo, Ama Owusu-Dommey, Kylie Boyd, Alexandra Armstrong, Kenzie Schaefer, Michael C. Bazaco, Michael Batz, Mark Riddle, Chad Porter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the proportion of postinfectious reactive arthritis (ReA) after bacterial enteric infection from one of four selected pathogens. We collected studies from PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase, which assessed the proportion of postinfectious ReA published from January 1, 2000 to April 1, 2018. Papers were screened independently by title, abstract, and full text; papers in English, Spanish, and Portuguese utilizing a case–control (CC) or cohort study design, with a laboratory confirmed or probable acute bacterial enteric infection and subsequent ReA, were included. The proportion of ReA cases was pooled between and across pathogens. Factors that can induce study heterogeneity were explored using univariate meta-regression, including region, sample size, study design, and ReA case ascertainment. Twenty-four articles were included in the final review. The estimated percentage of cases across studies describing Campylobacter-associated ReA (n = 11) was 1.71 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.49–5.84%); Salmonella (n = 17) was 3.9 (95% CI 1.6–9.1%); Shigella (n = 6) was 1.0 (95% CI 0.2–4.9%); and Yersinia (n = 7) was 3.4 (95% CI 0.8–13.7%). Combining all four pathogens, the estimated percentage of cases that developed ReA was 2.6 (95% CI 1.5–4.7%). Due to high heterogeneity reflected by high I2 values, results should be interpreted with caution. However, the pooled proportion developing ReA from studies with sample sizes (N) <1000 were higher compared with N > 1000 (6% vs. 0.3%), retrospective cohort studies were lower (1.1%) compared with CC or prospective cohorts (6.8% and 5.9%, respectively), and those where ReA cases are identified through medical record review were lower (0.3%) than those identified by a specialist (3.9%) or self-report (12%). The estimated percentage of people who developed ReA after infection with Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, or Yersinia is relatively low (2.6). In the United States, this estimate would result in 84,480 new cases of ReA annually.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-639
Number of pages13
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Meta-analysis
  • Postinfectious arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Review
  • Systematic


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