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Kampylobacteriosis is a zoonotic disease caused by bacteria of the genus Campylobacter, which infects the stomach and intestines in humans. Campylobacteriosis is the most common cause of acute bacterial gastroenteritis. Campylobacter bacteria cause more cases of diarrhea than Salmonella. What are the symptoms of campylobacteriosis? What is the treatment?

Kampylobacteriosisis a disease caused by bacteria of the genus Campylobacter that occur in the digestive tract of animals (poultry, cattle, pigs, dogs, cats, wild birds and mammals). Campylobacter bacteria transferred to humans can cause gastrointestinal infections.

The genus Campylobacter includes several dozen species and subspecies. In humans, diarrhea is most often caused by Campylobacter jejuni (90-95% of all infections caused by Campylobacter species) and Campylobacter coli (about 5% of infections).

Campylobacter bacteria cause more diarrhea than Salmonella.

Kampylobacteriosis - pathways of infection

The infection occurs through:

  • consumption of raw or undercooked contaminated meat, most often poultry (it is estimated that 50-70% of campylobacteriosis is caused by the consumption of poultry products contaminated with these bacteria)
  • direct contact with an infected person or animal
  • consuming raw milk or water from natural reservoirs

Kampylobacteriosis - symptoms

The incubation period is 5 days to 2 weeks. During this period, heraldic symptoms may occur, such as:

Kampylobacteriosis affects people of all age groups, but it is particularly common in urban residents over 50.

  • general weakness
  • slightly increased temperature
  • increasing fatigue

This is followed by gastroenteritis with:

  • predominant diarrhea with an admixture of blood
  • stomach pains
  • fever up to 38 degrees C
  • nausea and vomiting

These symptoms usually disappear after 3-6 days. If symptoms persist for more than a week, specialist treatment is indicated.

Patient's stool remains contagious for about 2-3weeks after the first symptoms of the disease.

Kampylobacteriosis - complications

  • dehydration - in young children, diarrhea and accompanying symptoms can very quickly lead to dehydration with life-threatening consequences
  • bacteremia, which can lead to septic shock - usually occurs in people with impaired immunity, e.g. in the course of AIDS, liver failure

In developed and developing countries, Campylobacter is thought to cause more cases of diarrhea than Salmonella.

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is typical to develop neurological symptoms 1-3 weeks after infection
  • glomerulonephritis
  • myocarditis
  • hepatitis
  • pancreatitis
  • arthritis

Kampylobacteriosis - treatment

In the vast majority of cases, the disease is self-limiting and does not require causal treatment. The mainstay of treatment is fluid replacement and monitoring of the water and electrolyte balance.

Causal treatment involving the implementation of antibiotics is reserved for patients with immunodeficiency or in severe general condition. Erythromycin or azithromycin are considered the drugs of choice in the treatment of campylobacteriosis.

Kampylobacteriosis - how to prevent infection?

  • the correct process of thermal processing of food products is necessary (carried out at 60 degrees Celsius and lasting for at least 15 minutes, prevents the survival of bacteria)
  • microwave radiation and the addition of certain spices, such as garlic, reduces the survival of these bacteria in food products
  • in prevention, it is also important to follow the rules of hygiene when preparing meat for consumption, as well as to protect and test the quality of drinking water, observe the rules of personal hygiene, such as washing hands after contact with animals, before eating. Campylobacter not harmed by low temperature in the freezer


1. Bruś-Chojnicka A., Pauli A., Beginning B., Chojnicki M., Mosalik M., Kowala-Piaskowska A., Mozer-Lisewska I., Kampylobacteriosis - epidemiology, diagnostics and treatment in the light of the latest reports, "Nowiny Lekarskie" 2011

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