Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Campylobacter

Author
item Stern, Norman

Submitted to: Current Concepts in Foodborne Pathogens
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter, an important bacterial pathogenic agent, can cause human gastroenteritis and is transmitted primarily through foods of animal origin. The most significant of the human enteropathogens in the genus consist mainly of the species C. jejuni. These human pathogens, have previously been labeled as "newly emerging" or "newly recognized," but this is certainly inaccurate. In 1957, E. O. King was first to suggest that these could be an important animal borne cause of human disease. Forty-three years later, the word "emerging" no longer seems appropriate. Support of King's hypothesis was provided in the 1970's, and it is only a reflection of our limited response times to suggest that these organisms are newly recognized. Campylobacter is fragile by nature and only pose a health problem if foods are prepared using poor hygiene or if food is consumed before being thoroughly cooked. Because the organism is so fragile, the food handler should be able to prevent transmission through food products, although food-borne transmission is widespread.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter, an important bacterial pathogenic agent, can cause human gastroenteritis and is transmitted primarily through foods of animal origin. The most significant of the human enteropathogens in the genus consist mainly of the species C. jejuni. These human pathogens, have previously been labeled as "newly emerging" or "newly recognized," but this is certainly inaccurate. In 1957, E. O. King was first to suggest that these could be an important animal borne cause of human disease. Forty-three years later, the word "emerging" no longer seems appropriate. Support of King's hypothesis was provided in the 1970's, and it is only a reflection of our limited response times to suggest that these organisms are newly recognized. Campylobacter is fragile by nature and only pose a health problem if foods are prepared using poor hygiene or if food is consumed before being thoroughly cooked. Because the organism is so fragile, the food handler should be able to prevent transmission through food products, although food-borne transmission is widespread.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page