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Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2002 Jan;42(1):38-41.

[A case of meningoencephalitis and spondylodiscitis caused by Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus infection].

[Article in Japanese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Fujita Health University, School of Medicine.


Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus (C. fetus) is a gram-negative, curved, rod-shaped microaerophile, occasionally may cause meningitis or meningoencephalitis in humans. This report documents the case of 49-year-old man with lumbar spondylodiscitis and meningoencephalitis caused by C. fetus infection. On admission, the patient was delirious and severe inflammatory reactions were seen in his serum. Cerebrospinal fluid (CFS) revealed normal glucose concentration and moderate mononuclear leukocytosis. Campylobacter species, which was very difficult to be identified, was cultured from the blood and CSF. During his clinical course, the patient complained of severe back pain, and lumbar MRI showed low intensity in a T1-weighed image of the L4 and L5 vertebral bodies and high intensity in a T2-weighed image of the L4-5 disc. The patient was diagnosed with spondylodiscitis caused by C. fetus infection. Meningoencephalitis may have occurred as a secondary infection. Antibiotics were administered, and the patient's condition improved. To our knowledge, only a few cases of spondylodiscitis caused by C. fetus have been reported. A CSF glucose concentration in the normal range and mononuclear leukocytosis are atypical findings in patients with pyogenic meningitis. Therefore, neurologists must be fully aware of the possible symptoms and signs of C. fetus infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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