ADLib Glossary (C)

More Information:


Organisms of the genus Campylobacter are pathogens that cause a significant number of diarrhea cases in the UK and is common in the developing world. Campylobacter are microaerophiles, which means that they can survive in a low oxygen environment. What is unusual about the organism, though, is that it also prefers a relatively high concentration of carbon dioxide in the environment.

The most commonly isolated species of Campylobacter is C. jejuni, an organism that causes gastro-intestinal infection. Humans acquire the organisms by eating undercooked chicken or drinking contaminated milk and water. Infection usually leads to fever, cramps, and bloody diarrhea which last for about 1 week. Erythromycin is the preferred antibiotic for treatment.

Many chicken flocks are silently infected with Campylobacter; that is, the chickens are infected with the organism but show no signs of illness. Campylobacter can be easily spread from bird to bird through a common water source or through contact with infected feces. When an infected bird is slaughtered, Campylobacter can be transferred from the intestines to the meat.

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011