Arcobacter Butzleri in the Elderly in Belgium

  • S. Lauwers
  • J. Breynaert
  • R. Van Etterijck
  • H. Revets
  • T. Mets


Organisms belonging to the genus Arcobacter are primarily differentiated from campylobacters by their ability to grow in air and at 15°C.11 Until today, 4 species have been included in the genus Arcobacter. A. butzleri 8 , originally described as “Campylobacter butzleri” by Kiehlbauch et al.5; A. cryaerophilus (with 2 subgroups), A. nitrofigilis (the type species) and A. skirrowii.11 The great majority of arcobacters isolated from human specimens are A. butzleri. Most of these A. butzleri were isolated from faeces of patients with diarrhoea (5). A. butzleri has also been found in juvenile and adult macaques with diarrhoea.1 Foods such as poultry and ground pork can be contaminated with A. butzleri.2,3 Water and sewage are the most frequent environmental source.3,4 Little is known about the epidemiology of human A. butzleri infections however. In 1992 we described an outbreak of recurrent abdominal cramps associated with A. butzleri which occurred in an Italian nursery and primary school.10 All 14 outbreak- related organisms appeared to be derived from a single clone as determined by polymerase chain reaction mediated DNA fingerprinting.9 The strains were isolated on a selective medium containing cephalotin (A. butzleri is usually resistant to cephalotin), incubated at 37°C. A. butzleri can also be isolated by the use of a filtration method. In our laboratory, a filter paper technique (with incubation at 37°C) is used routinely in addition to a selective medium (incubated at 42°C) for recovery of campylobacters. This practice allows the isolation of several campylobacter species that either do not grow at 42°C or are inhibited by the antibiotics in the selec-


Selective Medium Nalidixic Acid Abdominal Cramp Rectal Swab Faecal Specimen 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Lauwers
    • 1
  • J. Breynaert
    • 1
  • R. Van Etterijck
    • 1
  • H. Revets
    • 1
  • T. Mets
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Academisch ZiekenhuisVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Academisch ZiekenhuisVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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