Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis of Campylobacteriosis

• Incubation period of 1 to 7 days

• Abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea

• Dysentery is seen in approximately 50% of cases.

• Diarrhea is either loose and watery or grossly bloody.

• Some patients present mainly with abdominal cramps and pain and minimal diarrhea.

• Fecal leukocytes and red blood cells (RBCs) are detected in the stools of 75% of infected individuals. Diagnosis of Campylobacter is established by stool culture.

• Extraintestinal C. jejuni infection, including septic arthritis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, meningitis, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and neonatal sepsis, can present in three different ways:

• Transient bacteremia with acute campylobacter enteritis in a normal host with benign course

• Sustained bacteremia or deep focus of infection in a previously normal host that responds to antimicrobial therapy

• Sustained bacteremia or deep infection in a compromised host

• The most important postinfectious complication of C. jejuni is Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The risk of developing GBS is very small (less than one case of GBS per 1'000 C. jejuni). GBS typically occurs 1 to 3 weeks after diarrhea.

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