Campylobacter spp., particularly C. jejuni and C. coli, are a major cause of enteritis in humans. Additional species cause reproductive disease in sheep and cattle. Many animals carry
Campylobacter spp. asymptomatically and shed the organism in their feces. Poultry, particularly broiler chickens, are an especially important source of the bacterium, though they usually do not become ill (www.campypoultry.org). Numerous strategies have been explored to decrease colonization of poultry on the farm; however, none have been proven to reduce Campylobacter prevalence in broiler flocks.
The major routes of transmission in humans are consumption of contaminated or undercooked meat (especially poultry), unpasteurized milk or dairy products, and untreated water. People can also be infected by contact with infected animals or feces. Campylobacteriosis in humans ranges from mild to severe, but most cases are selflimiting. Although complications are uncommon, C. jejuni is a major triggering event for Guillain-Barré syndrome. C. fetus is an opportunistic human pathogen and mainly causes systemic infections in people with compromised immune systems. Antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter spp. is a serious problem worldwide, particularly for fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines.
Iowa State University
Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health, "Zoonotic Campylobacteriosis" (2013). Center for Food Security and Public Health Technical Factsheets. 29.