Campylobacteriosis: A Food Borne Disease With Diverse Clinical Presentations
Abstract - Campylobacteriosis is an important food borne acute infectious diarrheal disease. It mainly occurs through
consumption of raw or undercooked poultry meat, unpasteurized milk and contaminated water. Campylobacter species have
been isolated from chicken, turkey, duck, pork and beef. Campylobacter jejuni is responsible for 80-90% of all enteric
Campylobacter infections, followed by C. coli for 5-10% cases. Clinical illness ranges from mild self-limiting, noninflammatory
diarrhea to severe inflammatory bloody diarrhea associated with bacteremia. Extra-intestinal infections like
bacteremia, peritonitis, cholecystities, meningitis etc. have also been reported. Around 10% of immuno-compromised
patients are at risk of bacteremia. An important post-infectious sequel of C. jejuni infection is Guillain-Barré syndrome
(GBS), an acute neurological disease marked by ascending paralysis. GBS is incited by molecular mimicry between
sialylated lipo-oligosaccharides of bacterial cell wall and ganglioside epitopes on human peripheral nerves, resulting in
autoimmune-driven nerve damage. Culture is the gold standard for diagnosis of Campylobacter infection but its sensitivity is
low in GBS patients. Serological and nucleic acid-based assays are used to improve the sensitivity. Development of
resistance by Campylobacter spp. to macrolides and fluoroquinolones has resulted in treatment failure. Good practices like
hand wash with soap, knowledge about cross-contamination in kitchen and poultry shops, avoidance of consumption of
undercooked animal products, unpasteurized milk and untreated surface water can help in preventing the infection.
Key words - Antibiotic resistance, Campylobacter, Campylobacteriosis, Diarrhea, Guillain-Barré syndrome.