Campylobacter and Arcobacter

  • Arun K. Bhunia
Part of the Food Science Text Series book series (FSTS)


Historically, Campylobacter and Arcobacter species are considered animal pathogens; however, in the last 40 years, both were implicated in outbreaks causing gastroenteritis in humans. These two pathogens are fastidious curved rods and have stringent growth requirements. Campylobacter is microaerophilic, and several of the species are thermophilic and are unable to grow below 30 °C. Arcobacter is aerotolerant and can grow below 30 °C. Both Campylobacter and Arcobacter are routinely isolated from livestock, poultry, and water. The outbreak of Campylobacter is associated with meat, poultry, and milk. Of 26 species of Campylobacter, C. jejuni is responsible for 95% of the outbreaks and is considered the most dominant pathogen. Campylobacter pathogenesis depends on the expression of several virulence factors that control their motility, chemotaxis, quorum sensing, bile resistance, adhesion, invasion, toxin production, growth inside the host cells, and iron acquisition. Bacteria possibly induce their own internalization through signaling events and rearrangement of the host cytoskeletal structure and survive inside the epithelial cells by expressing superoxide dismutase and catalase to deactivate host oxidative stress defense. Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) arrests cell cycle division, disrupts the absorptive function of villous epithelial cells, and promotes diarrhea. The Campylobacter-induced diarrhea is mostly self-limiting; however, Campylobacter may cause fatal infection in immunocompromised patients. The patients suffering from C. jejuni infection may also develop Guillain–Barré syndrome characterized by generalized paralysis and muscle pain, and the reactive arthritis is characterized by arthritis in knee joints or lower back. The pathogenic mechanism of Arcobacter (A. butzleri) is not fully elucidated, but the mechanism is similar to Campylobacter infection as to the tissue tropism, adhesion, invasion, tissue damage, and inflammation. Arcobacter causes diarrhea in humans (in children) and abortion and stillbirth in cows, sheep, and pigs. Preventing consumption of raw foods of animal origin and heat treatment of a food and preventing post-heat contamination are important to control Campylobacter in foods. In most cases, the campylobacteriosis is a self-limiting disease; thus, antibiotic therapy is not required; however, antibiotic is needed for immunocompromised patients to control bacteremia and sepsis.


Campylobacter jejuni Arcobacter Gastroenteritis Guillain–Barré syndrome Reactive arthritis Miller Fisher Syndrome 

Further Readings

  1. 1.
    Bolton, D.J. (2015) Campylobacter virulence and survival factors. Food Microbiol 48, 99–108.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Collado, L. and Figueras, M.J. (2011) Taxonomy, epidemiology, and clinical relevance of the genus Arcobacter. Clin Microbiol Rev 24, 174–192.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cróinín, T.Ó. and Backert, S. (2012) Host epithelial cell invasion by Campylobacter jejuni: trigger or zipper mechanism? Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dasti, J.I., Tareen, A.M., Lugert, R., Zautner, A.E. and Groß, U. (2010) Campylobacter jejuni: A brief overview on pathogenicity-associated factors and disease-mediating mechanisms. Int J Med Microbiol 300, 205–211.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ferreira, S., Queiroz, J.A., Oleastro, M. and Domingues, F.C. (2016) Insights in the pathogenesis and resistance of Arcobacter: A review. Crit Rev Microbiol 42, 364–383.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Josefsen, M.H., Bhunia, A.K., Engvall, E.O., Fachmann, M.S.R. and Hoorfar, J. (2015) Monitoring Campylobacter in the poultry production chain - From culture to genes and beyond. J Microbiol Methods 112, 118–125.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kaakoush, N.O., Castaño-Rodríguez, N., Mitchell, H.M. and Man, S.M. (2015) Global epidemiology of Campylobacter infection. Clin Microbiol Rev 28, 687–720.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lehner, A., Tasara, T. and Stephan, R. (2005) Relevant aspects of Arcobacter spp. as potential foodborne pathogen. Int J Food Microbiol 102, 127–135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lertsethtakarn, P., Ottemann, K.M. and Hendrixson, D.R. (2011) Motility and chemotaxis in Campylobacter and Helicobacter. Annu Rev Microbiol 65, 389–410.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Paulin, S.M. and On, S.L.W. (2010) Campylobacter fact sheet: Taxonomy, pathogenesis, isolation, detection and future perspectives. Quality Assurance Safety Crops Foods 2, 127–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sahin, O., Kassem, I.I., Shen, Z., Lin, J., Rajashekara, G. and Zhang, Q. (2015) Campylobacter in poultry: Ecology and potential interventions. Avian Dis 59, 185–200.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Silva, J., Leite, D., Fernandes, M., Mena, C., Gibbs, P.A. and Teixeira, P. (2011) Campylobacter spp. as a foodborne pathogen: A review. Front Microbiol 2.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Snelling, W.J., Matsuda, M., Moore, J.E. and Dooley, J.S.G. (2005) Campylobacter jejuni. Lett Appl Microbiol 41, 297–302.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Snelling, W.J., Matsuda, M., Moore, J.E. and Dooley, J.S.G. (2006) Under the microscope: Arcobacter. Lett Appl Microbiol 42, 7–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tegtmeyer, N., Rohde, M. and Backert, S. (2012) Clinical presentations and pathogenicity mechanisms of bacterial foodborne infections. In Microbial Food Safety. pp.13–31: Springer.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Umaraw, P., Prajapati, A., Verma, A.K., Pathak, V. and Singh, V.P. (2017) Control of Campylobacter in poultry industry from farm to poultry processing unit: A review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 57, 659–665.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    van Vliet, A.H.M. and Ketley, J.M. (2001) Pathogenesis of enteric Campylobacter infection. J Appl Microbiol 90, 45S–56S.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wassenaar, T.M. (1997) Toxin production by Campylobacter spp. Clin Microbiol Rev 10, 466–476.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Young, K.T., Davis, L.M. and DiRita, V.J. (2007) Campylobacter jejuni: molecular biology and pathogenesis. Nat Rev Microbiol 5, 665–679.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arun K. Bhunia
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Food Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Food Science, Department of Comparative PathobiologyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations