What are potential complications of Campylobacter infections?

Updated: Aug 05, 2019
  • Author: Mahmud H Javid, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Potential complications of Campylobacter infections include the following:

  • Toxic megacolon

  • Pseudomembranous colitis

  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage

  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome

  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

  • Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease (This is a type of lymphoma that involves mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue [MALT]. It has been found to be associated with C jejuni infection. [50] )

  • Bacteremia

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Pancreatitis

  • Stillbirths, septic abortions (C fetus)

  • Intrauterine growth restriction [53]

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) (GBS may develop secondary to cross-immunoreactivity between human gangliosides GM1 and GD1a and C jejuni lipopolysaccharides. In one study, up to 25% of patients with GBS had stool cultures positive for C jejuni. However, because of shortcomings of standard serological methods, the role of C jejuni may have been underestimated. [54, 55] In a study using a highly specific ELISA based on recombinant antigens, 80% of 36 patients with acute GBS were found to have serological evidence of preceding C jejuni infection, compared with 3.5% of controls. [56] In a 2012 study from New Zealand, investigators reported a marked reduction in GBS incidence 3 years after initiation of an intensive program to prevent food borne campylobacteriosis. [57] Of the over 8,000 C jejuni multilocus sequence typing sequence types (STs) described, ST-22 has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. [58] )

  • Meningitis [59, 43, 42]

  • Infected aortoiliac aneurysms [29]

  • A sub-group of inflammatory bowel disease [4, 5]

  • Infected endometrial cysts/tubo-ovarian abscess [60]

  • Cellulitis [16]

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