Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Campylobacter jejuni

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Family: Spirillaceae.
  • Genus: Campylobacter.
  • Used to be placed in the genus Vibrio.
  • Species: jejuni.


  • Gk: campylo - curved; bacter - rod; jejuni - of the jejunum.

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Clinical Effects



  • Found in animals and their products:
    • Milk.
    • Poultry.
    • Feces of dogs and cats.


  • Multiplies in the intestinal tract of the host, and invades epithelial cells.
  • Transfers R plasmids, which most commonly carry tetracycline resistance genes.


  • Fecal oral route.
  • C. jejuni infection is an important zoonosis.
  • Human beings and other susceptible species obtain infection from animal sources.
  • Infection of human beings occurs following ingestion of an animal product originally contaminated with infected feces.
  • Most human infections occur following consumption of poorly-cooked meat and unpasteurized milk.
  • Handling of animals (especially dogs and cats) may also be a source of human infection.

Pathological effects

  • Produces an adhesin.
  • Produces a heat-labile enterotoxin and a cytotoxin but exact method of pathogenesis unknown.
  • Important zoonosis.
  • Causes:
    • Diarrhea.
    • Abdominal pain.
    • Fever.
    • Sometimes vomiting in human beings.

Other Host Effects

  • Normal intestinal flora.


Control via animal

  • Meticulous hygiene and cleaning to prevent spread.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Erythromycin (40 mg/kg divided TID for 5 days) Erythromycin and tetracycline Tetracycline are used.
    R. plasmids encoding resistance to tetracycline occur.Enrofloxacin is only effective in 60% cases.

Control via environment

  • Control in veterinary hospitals and kennels is carried out by strict adherence to hygiene procedures, including:
    • Hand-washing.
    • Cleaning and disinfection of equipment.
    • Human infections may be prevented by hygienic practices and thorough cooking of food.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Acke E, McGill K, Golden O et al (2009) Prevalence of thermophilic Campylobacter species in household cats and dogs in Ireland. Vet Rec 164 (2), 44-47 PubMed.
  • Monfort J D, Donahoe J P, Stills H F Jr. et al (1990) Efficacies of erythromycin and chloramphenicol in extinguishing fecal shedding of Campylobacter jejuni in dogs. JAVMA 196 (7), 1069-1072 PubMed.
  • Mcartney L, Al-Mashat R R, Taylor D J et al (1988) Experimental infection of dogs with Campylobacter jejuni. Vet Rec 122 (11), 245-249 PubMed.
  • Newton C M, Newell D G, Wood M et al (1988) Campylobacter infection in a closed dog breeding colony. Vet Rec 123 (6), 152-154 PubMed.
  • Dillon A R, Boosinger T R, Blevins W T et al (1987) Campylobacter enteritis in dogs and cats. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet (12), 1176-1183 VetMedResource.
  • Olson P & Sanstedt K (1987) Campylobacter in the dog: a clinical and experimental study. Vet Rec 121 (5), 99-101 PubMed.
  • Nair G B, Sarkar R K, Chowdhury S et al (1985) Campylobacter infections in domestic dogs. Vet Rec 116 (9), 237-238 PubMed.