Arthritis, in children or adults, is called "reactive" when it is due to a delayed reaction to an infection. The arthritis usually occurs two to four weeks after the infection and lasts from eight to 16 weeks. It may recur or last longer in some people. Current research supports combining antibiotics with other treatments for this condition.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Joint problems in large joints, such as hips, knees and ankles, and sacroiliac joints
  • Affects fingers and toes
  • Joint problems on one side of the body only
  • Swelling of entire fingers or toes, making them resemble sausages
  • HLA-B27 genetic tissue type


The most common infections causing juvenile reactive arthritis include:

  • Bowel infections, such as dysentery and food poisoning
  • Bacteria, such as shigella, campylobacter or salmonella
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlalmydia