Category: Illness or disabilities
Introduction and description
Reactive arthritis [sometimes known as Reiter's disease] develops in response to an infection in another part of the body. In effect, the joint problems and pain are a consequence of having become infected by a pathogen.
Although bacteria are often responsible for the original illness, there is increasing evidence that the subsequent problems - of which reactive arthritis may be only one - are caused by the bacteriophages in the bacteria.
Phages are viruses, often very very small, and undetectable by anything other than an electron microsope, as such identifying which phage is causing the arthritis is very difficult. It is easier if the bacteria has been identified. Both Shigella infection and Streptococcus infection can result in reactive arthritis.
Please also see the section on Bone and skeleton disease. This section explains the causes and suggested treatments for a range of bone disease.
If you know the cause, other links as shown from the table above to their respective section are as follows: