Campylobacteriosis, also called Campylobacter enteritis, is a bacterial infection caused by Campylobacter, spiral-shaped, S-shaped, curved, or rod-shaped bacteria. There are 17 species and 6 subspecies assigned to the genus Campylobacter, of which the most frequently reported in human and animal diseases are C. jejuni and C. coli. Campylobacter organisms are commonly found as normal bacteria of gastrointestinal tracts of dogs, cats, rodents, and many other animals. Most animals are lifelong carriers, although some may develop a severe disease.2 Signs of infection include diarrhea (with or without blood), loss of appetite, vomiting, and fever. Diarrhea may last for 5 to 15 days and is sometimes bile-stained. Occasionally, chronic diarrhea lasting for months may occur. 3 Treatment with antibiotics is usually effective and is recommended in invasive cases when bacteria invade the intestinal mucosa cells and damage the tissues. But antimicrobial administration is not routinely advocated in uncomplicated cases and supportive therapy is recommended. Basic practices of isolation, use of appropriate protective equipment, and proper cleaning and disinfection are the mainstays of control.4

Campylobacter is a leading cause of bacterial diarrheal disease worldwide; in the United States, it is estimated to affect 2.4 million people every year. Although people can acquire campylobacteriosis from their infected pet dogs and cats, infections are really associated with food poisoning. In the food supply, campylobacteriosis is caused via consumption of infected poultry, unpasteurized milk, and untreated water. 6


  1. Richard W. Nelson, C. Guillermo Couto. Small Animal Internal Medicine.
  2. Campylobacteriosis
  3. Campylobacter: molecular and cellular biology
  4. Campylobacter
  5. Enteropathogenic bacteria in dogs and cats: diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, and control. Marks SL, Rankin SC, Byrne BA, Weese JS.
  6. Campylobacter Enteritis. Melissa Viray, Michael Lynch

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