What is the pathophysiology of diarrhea in Campylobacter infections?

Updated: Aug 05, 2019
  • Author: Mahmud H Javid, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Some strains of C jejuni produce a heat-labile, choleralike enterotoxin, which is important in the watery diarrhea observed in infections. Infection with the organism produces diffuse, bloody, edematous, and exudative enteritis. The inflammatory infiltrate consists of neutrophils, mononuclear cells, and eosinophils. Crypt abscesses develop in the epithelial glands, and ulceration of the mucosal epithelium occurs.

Cytotoxin production has been reported in Campylobacter strains from patients with bloody diarrhea. In a small number of cases, the infection is associated with hemolytic-uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura through a poorly understood mechanism. Endothelial cell injury, mediated by endotoxins or immune complexes, is followed by intravascular coagulation and thrombotic microangiopathy in the glomerulus and the gastrointestinal mucosa.

Campylobacter species also produce the bacterial toxin cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), which produces a cell block at the G2 stage preceding mitosis. CDT inhibits cellular and humoral immunity via destruction of immune response cells and necrosis of epithelial-type cells and fibroblasts involved in the repair of lesions. This leads to slow healing and results in disease symptoms. [3]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!