Campylobacter

From WikiMD's Health & Wellness Encyclopedia

(Redirected from Campylobacter jejuni)


Campylobacter jejuni growing on CCDA campylobacter selective agar
Campylobacter jejuni growing on CCDA campylobacter selective agar

  • Campylobacter can spread from animals to people through contaminated food, especially raw or undercooked chicken.
  • People may also get infected through contact with animals and their environments, by drinking raw milk, eating contaminated fresh produce, or drinking contaminated water.
  • International travel to low-resource countries can increase the risk for infection with antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter.
  • Campylobacter is a genus of bacteria with many species.
  • The most common human pathogen is campylobacter jejuni. Others include the following:
Campylobacter fetus bacteria
Campylobacter fetus bacteria

C. avium
C. butzleri
C. canadensis
C. cinaedi
C. coli
C. concisus
C. corcagiensis
C. cryaerophilus
C. cuniculorum
C. curvus
C. fennelliae
C. fetus
C. gracilis
C. helveticus
C. hepaticus
C. hominis
C. hyoilei
C. hyointestinalis
C. insulaenigrae
C. jejuni
C. lanienae
C. lari
C. mucosalis
C. mustelae
C. nitrofigilis
C. peloridis
C. pylori
C. rectus
C. showae
C. sputorum
C. subantarcticus
C. upsaliensis
C. ureolyticus
C. volucris

Summary

  • Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States.
  • The vast majority of cases occur as isolated events, not as part of recognized outbreaks.

Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.5 million illnesses each year in the United States.

  • Once can get campylobacter from eating other foods, including seafood, meat, and produce, by contact with animals, and by drinking untreated water.
  • Although people with Campylobacter infection usually recover on their own, some need antibiotic treatment.
ARS Campylobacter jejuni
ARS Campylobacter jejuni

Sources of infection

Raw and undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, contaminated water.

Etiology

  • Campylobacter is a gram-negative, microaerophilic genus of bacteria of the family Campylobacteriacae.
  • There are more than 20 species of Campylobacter, not all of which cause human illness.
  • Approximately 90% of human Campylobacter illness is caused by one species, Campylobacter jejuni. Less common species, such as C. coli, C. upsaliensis, C. fetus, and C. lari, can also infect people.
  • Campylobacter jejuni grows best at 37°C to 42°C and seems to be well-adapted to birds, which have an approximate body temperature of 41°C to 42°C and can carry the bacteria without becoming ill.
  • These bacteria are fragile. They cannot tolerate drying. Freezing reduces the number of Campylobacter bacteria on raw meat.

Transmission

Most cases of Campylobacter infection occur after someone eats raw or undercooked poultry or another food that has been contaminated by raw or undercooked poultry.

Outbreaks

  • Outbreaks of Campylobacter infection are infrequently reported relative to the number of illnesses.
  • Outbreaks have been associated with unpasteurized dairy products, contaminated water, poultry, and produce.
  • People also can get infected from contact with dog or cat feces.
  • Person-to-person spread of Campylobacter is uncommon.

Incubation Period

2-5 days

Symptoms

  • People with Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps.
  • Nausea and vomiting may accompany the diarrhea.
  • These symptoms usually start 2 to 5 days after the person ingests Campylobacter and last about one week.
  • Sometimes Campylobacter infections cause complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, temporary paralysis, and arthritis.
  • In people with weakened immune systems, such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a life-threatening infection.
Campylobacter jejuni colonies
Campylobacter jejuni colonies

Duration of Illness

2-10 days

Diagnosis

  • Campylobacter infection is diagnosed when a laboratory test detects Campylobacter bacteria in stool, body tissue, or fluids.
  • The test could be a culture that isolates the bacteria or a rapid diagnostic test that detects genetic material of the bacteria.
Campylobacter jejuni
Campylobacter jejuni

Treatment

  • Most people recover from Campylobacter infection without antibiotic treatment.
  • Patients should drink extra fluids as long as diarrhea lasts.
  • Some people with, or at risk for, severe illness might need antibiotic treatment.
  • These people include those who are 65 years or older, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy.
  • Some types of antibiotics may not work for some types of Campylobacter.
  • When antibiotics are necessary, healthcare providers can use laboratory tests to help determine which type of antibiotics will likely be effective.
  • People who are prescribed antibiotics should take them exactly as directed and tell their healthcare provider if they do not feel better.

Precautions

  • Drink plenty of fluids and get rest.
  • If you cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration or if your symptoms are severe, call your doctor.
  • In more severe cases, certain antibiotics can be used and can shorten the duration of symptoms if given early in the illness.

Prevention

  • Always cook meat, especially poultry, to safe minimum temperatures.
  • Keep raw meat, especially poultry, separate from other foods. Do not drink raw or unpasteurized milk.

Antibiotic resistance

Campylobacter can spread from animals to people through contaminated food, especially raw or undercooked chicken. People may also get infected through contact with animals and their environments, by drinking raw milk, eating contaminated fresh produce, or drinking contaminated water. International travel to low-resource countries can increase the risk for infection with antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter. Several studies have shown that infections in people who traveled outside the United States during the week before illness were resistant to ciprofloxacin more often than infections among people who did not travel before their illness began.

Complications

  • Most people with Campylobacter infection recover completely within one week.
  • Campylobacter infection can result in long-term consequences, such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).
  • CDC estimates that only 0.2 to 1.7 in every 1,000 diagnosed and undiagnosed Campylobacter illnesses leads to GBS, but estimates Campylobacter are responsible for 5-41% of GBS illnesses

Resources

Latest articles - Campylobacter

PubMed
Clinical trials
Up To Date
UpToDate
Medline
Medline plus
You Tube
YouTube videos
About
Apple bitten.svg

WikiMD is the world's largest, free medical and wellness encyclopedia edited only by professionals.



Wiki.png

Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - Rare diseases - Gray's Anatomy - USMLE - Hospitals

Ad: Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's insurance physician weight loss
Philadelphia medical weight loss & NYC medical weight loss.

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD