Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/29/2001
Publication Date: 4/1/2002
Citation: Smith, J.L. 2002. Campylobacter jejuni infection during pregnancy: long term consequences of associated bacteremia, guillain-barre syndrome and reactive arthritis. Journal Of Food Protection. 2002 Vol. 65. No.4. pg. 696-708.
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni infections are the major cause of food borne gastroenteritis in the United States. Generally, C. jejuni infections are self-limiting and treatment is not necessary. However, infections can lead to serious long term consequences such as bacteremia, Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS; acute flaccid paralytic disease) or reactive arthritis (ReA). During pregnancy, food borne infections may induce hazards to both the woman and fetus. Bacteremia induced by C. jejuni during pregnancy may lead to intrauterine infection of the fetus, abortion, stillbirth or early neonatal death. Approximately 30 percent of the cases of GBS are due to C. jejuni enteritis. Guillain-Barre syndrome during pregnancy does not affect fetal or infant development and does not increase spontaneous abortion or fetal death. Reactive arthritis occurs in approximately 2 percent of C. jejuni enteritis cases and leads to impaired movement of various joints but tdoes not affect pregnancy. The pregnant patient with GBS or ReA, due to the physical impairment induced by the diseases, may be unable to care for a newly born infant. Since Campylobacter infections place both the fetus and pregnant woman at risk, the woman must take special care in food handling and preparation to prevent C. jejuni infection.