Bacterial Diseases Champylobacter

Chlamydophila abortus is a well recognized pathogen causing abortions in cattle and goats. A recent report from Germany cites a case where a pregnant woman became infected from farm animals and aborted. This rare zoonotic infection underlines the insidious and widespread problem of zoonotic infections on farms (14,15).

Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli have recently become recognized as common bacterial causes of diarrhea. Infection can occur at any age. Sources of infection are typically mammalian and avian hosts. The usual incubation period of campylobacter enteritis is 2 to 5 days. Fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the most common clinical features. The stools frequently contain mucus and, a few days after the onset of symptoms, frank blood. Significant vomiting and dehydration are uncommon. A rapid presumptive laboratory diagnosis may be made during the acute phase of the illness by direct phase-contrast microscopy of stools. Isolation of the organism from stools requires culture in a selective medium containing antibiotics and incubation under reduced oxygen tension at 42°C. The organism persists in the stools of untreated patients for up to 7 weeks following the onset of symptoms. Erythromycin may produce a rapid clinical and bacteriologic cure and should be used to treat moderately to severely ill patients as well as patients with compromised host defenses (14).

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