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Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Jul 15;102(2):127-35.

Relevant aspects of Arcobacter spp. as potential foodborne pathogen.

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Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Arcobacter species are Gram-negative spiral-shaped organisms belonging to the family Campylobacteraceae that can grow microaerobically or aerobically. The Arcobacter organisms also have the ability to grow at 15 degrees C, which is a distinctive feature that differentiates Arcobacter species from Campylobacter species. Cultural detection of Arcobacter is generally performed by an enrichment step and takes 4 to 5 days. In the last few years, several studies comparing different culture-based protocols have been published. Furthermore, DNA-based assays have also been established for rapid and specific identification of Arcobacter spp. Recent evidence suggests that Arcobacter, especially A. Butzleri, may be involved in human enteric diseases. Moreover, A. butzleri has also occasionally been found in cases of human extraintestinal diseases. However, up to now, little is known about the mechanisms of pathogenicity or potential virulence factors of Arcobacter spp. There is evidence that livestock animals may be a significant reservoir of Arcobacter spp. and over the last few years, the presence of these organisms in raw meat products as well as in surface and ground water has received increasing attention. In view of control measures to be used to prevent or to eliminate the hazard of Arcobacter spp. in food, several treatments have been evaluated for their effectiveness. While the role of Arcobacter spp. in human disease awaits further evaluation, a precautionary approach is advisable. Measures aimed at reduction or eradication of Arcobacter from the human food chain should be encouraged. With this article, we review the recent literature on this organism with a special emphasis on the information relevant to food safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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