Campylobacter Jejuni

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Campylobacter jejuni is a major gastroenteritis infections worldwide. Salmonella only is second to campylobacter jejuni by the number of cases.

Campylobacter jejuni

Campylobacter jejuni is a bacterium found naturally in the intestines of poultry, cattle, swine, and wild birds. The bacteria have also been found in untreated surface water and manure. Campylobacter jejuni causes infections called campylobacteriosis. The most common symptoms of campylobacteriosis are self-limiting gastroenteritis and do not need antibiotic treatment. However, when antibiotic therapy is needed, erythromycin or ciprofloxacin are prescribed. However, a small percentage of those who contract the disease develop complications. The complications include infection of organs and systems in the human body.

Mode of transmission

Reservoirs & Transmission

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Reservoirs

Symptoms

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Symptoms

Susceptible Populations

At-risk of campylobacteriosis are children under the age of 5 years and adults between the age of 15 to 29 years. Infants between the age of 6 to 12 months old are also susceptible to this infection. 

Prevention

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Prevention

Keep Clean: Wash your hands before, during and after handling food. Wash utensils, cutting boards, and any surfaces that food touches after each use. Wash fruits and veggies—but not meat, poultry, or eggs.

Separate Raw and Cooked: Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils for raw (uncooked) produce and for raw (uncooked) meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods while shopping and in the refrigerator.

Cook Thoroughly and Keep Food at Safe Temperature: Only a food thermometer can make sure meat, poultry, fish, and casseroles are cooked to a safe internal temperature. For example, internal temperatures should be 145°F or 63°C for whole meats (allow the meat to rest after cooking for 3 minutes at least) and fish, 160°F or 71°C for ground meats, and 165°F or 74°C for all poultry. Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.

Chill: Use appliance thermometers to be sure your refrigerator is at or below 40ºF or  4°C and your freezer is 0ºF (-17.78°C) or below. Between 40ºF or 4°C and 140ºF or 60°, C is the Danger Zone, when bacteria can multiply rapidly. Generally, the more bacteria, the more likely someone will get sick. Most refrigerators have just a colder/ warmer adjustment, so the only way to know is to put a thermometer inside.

Use Safe Water and Raw Material: Always use safe water or treat it before use. Use wholesome and fresh materials.

Hand Washing

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
  • Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water. Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. Keep in mind, that sanitizers do not kill all types of germs. If your hands are visibly dirty, soap them then use a sanitizer. They also might not remove chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals from your hands.

The presented information is an extract from the World Health Organization (2008). Foodborne Disease Outbreaks: Guidelines for Investigation and Control. Geneva, Switzerland, 2008