What are the signs and symptoms of Campylobacter infections?

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

The symptoms and severity of the gastroenteritis produced can vary.

Patients may have a history of ingestion of inadequately cooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, or untreated water. The incubation period is 1-7 days and is probably related to the dose of organisms ingested.

A brief prodrome of fever, headache, and myalgias lasting up to 24 hours is followed by crampy abdominal pain, fever as high as 40°C, and as many as 10 watery, frequently bloody, bowel movements per day. Fever, which develops in more than 90% of patients, may be low or high grade and can persist for a week.

Patients with C jejuni infection who report vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or both tend to have a longer illness and require hospital admission. [12]

Abdominal pain and tenderness may be localized. Pain in the right lower quadrant may mimic acute appendicitis (pseudoappendicitis).

Tenesmus occurs in approximately 25% of patients.

In some cases, acute abdominal pain is the only symptom, with pain typically in the right lower quadrant. Among the symptoms, abdominal pain is more likely to result from Campylobacter infection than from Salmonella or Shigella infections.

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