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J Med Microbiol. 2012 Apr;61(Pt 4):507-13. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.040600-0. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Campylobacter jejuni infection and virulence-associated genes in children with moderate to severe diarrhoea admitted to emergency rooms in northeastern Brazil.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedicine for Brazilian Semi-Arid/Clinical Research Unit, Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza, CE 60430-270, Brazil.


Campylobacter is an important cause of foodborne gastroenteritis. We determined the occurrence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, using culture-based methods and PCRs targeting virulence-associated genes (VAGs) among children aged ≤14 years who were treated for diarrhoea at emergency rooms in northeastern Brazil. Genomic DNA was extracted directly from stool samples collected from 366 children. A questionnaire was also applied to qualify the clinical conditions presented by each child at the time of admission. C. jejuni and C. coli were detected in 16.4 % (60/366) and 1.4 % (5/366) of the diarrhoeal samples, respectively, by PCR, a much higher proportion than that detected by conventional methods. C. jejuni VAGs were detected in the following proportions of hipO-positive samples: ciaB, 95 % (57/60); dnaJ, 86.7 % (52/60); racR, 98.3 % (59/60); flaA, 80 % (48/60); pldA, 45 % (27/60); cdtABC, 95 % (57/60); and pVir 0 % (0/60). Particular symptoms, such as blood in faeces, vomiting, fever, and/or abdominal pain, were not associated with detection of C. jejuni nor were they associated with any particular VAG or combination of VAGs (P>0.05). C. jejuni and its VAGs were detected in a substantial proportion of the children admitted. Further efforts shall be directed towards elucidating whether these genetic factors or their expressed proteins play a role in Campylobacter pathogenesis.

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