Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Interpretive summary not required.
Technical Abstract: The most frequently identified cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries is Campylobacter jejuni. In the United States, dairy products are the food sources commonly associated with outbreaks; however, most cases of C. jejuni gastroenteritis are sporadic with poultry as the major source. Diarrhea, malaise, fever and abdominal pain are the usual symptoms of C. jejuni enteritis. Lasting only a few days, the illness is generally self-limiting; however, some cases may be more severe. Although several virulence factors have been identified in C. jejuni, their role in disease is currently unclear. C. jejuni has been linked to the acquisition of certain forms of sterile arthritides such as reactive arthritis and Reiter's syndrome and to acute generalized paralytic diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, Miller-Fisher syndrome and Chinese paralytic syndrome. In addition, C. jejuni may induce diseases affecting the nervous system, circulatory system and various organs, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Illnesses associated with C. jejuni have been estimated to cost the citizens of the United States several billion dollars annually.