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Causes of Campylobacter jejuni

Primary Cause of Campylobacter jejuni

The primary cause of Campylobacter jejuni is the result:

  • of eating food from an animal infected with an infectious agent, or from food that is contaminated from the food handler (who is infected with Campylobacter jejuni), or from contaminated soil or water, or from toxins produced by an infectious organism.
  • of an infectious agent.

Campylobacter jejuni: Related Medical Conditions

To research the causes of Campylobacter jejuni, consider researching the causes of these these diseases that may be similar, or associated with Campylobacter jejuni:

Campylobacter jejuni: Causes and Types

Causes of Broader Categories of Campylobacter jejuni: Review the causal information about the various more general categories of medical conditions:

What causes Campylobacter jejuni?

Causes: Campylobacter jejuni:

FDA Bad Bug Book (Excerpt)

The infective dose of C. jejuni is considered to be small. Human feeding studies suggest that about 400-500 bacteria may cause illness in some individuals, while in others, greater numbers are required. A conducted volunteer human feeding study suggests that host susceptibility also dictates infectious dose to some degree. The pathogenic mechanisms of C. jejuni are still not completely understood, but it does produce a heat-labile toxin that may cause diarrhea. C. jejuni may also be an invasive organism. (Source: FDA Bad Bug Book)

FDA Bad Bug Book (Excerpt)

Usually outbreaks are small (less than 50 people), but in Bennington, VT a large outbreak involving about 2,000 people occurred while the town was temporarily using an non-chlorinated water source as a water supply. Several small outbreaks have been reported among children who were taken on a class trip to a dairy and given raw milk to drink. An outbreak was also associated with consumption of raw clams. However, a survey showed that about 50% of infections are associated with either eating inadequately cooked or recontaminated chicken meat or handling chickens. It is the leading bacterial cause of sporadic (non-clustered cases) diarrheal disease in the U.S.

In April, 1986, an elementary school child was cultured for bacterial pathogens (due to bloody diarrhea), and C. jejuni was isolated. Food consumption/gastrointestinal illness questionnaires were administered to other students and faculty at the school. In all, 32 of 172 students reported symptoms of diarrhea (100%), cramps (80%), nausea (51%), fever (29%), vomiting (26%), and bloody stools (14%). The food questionnaire clearly implicated milk as the common source, and a dose/response was evident (those drinking more milk were more likely to be ill). Investigation of the dairy supplying the milk showed that they vat pasteurized the milk at 135F for 25 minutes rather than the required 145F for 30 minutes. The dairy processed surplus raw milk for the school, and this milk had a high somatic cell count. Cows from the herd supplying the dairy had C. jejuni in their feces. This outbreak points out the variation in symptoms which may occur with campylobacteriosis and the absolute need to adhere to pasteurization time/temperature standards.

Although other Campylobacter spp. have been implicated in human gastroenteritis (e.g. C. laridis, C. hyointestinalis), it is believed that 99% of the cases are caused by C. jejuni. (Source: FDA Bad Bug Book)

Related information on causes of Campylobacter jejuni:

As with all medical conditions, there may be many causal factors. Further relevant information on causes of Campylobacter jejuni may be found in:


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