Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Campylobacter jejuni

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Susan Dawson, Molly Varga




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


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

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Clinical Effects



  • Found in animals and their products:
    • Milk.
    • Meat.
    • 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. jejuniinfection 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 and tetracycline   Tetracycline  are used.

R plasmids encoding resistance to tetracycline occur.

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