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Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 1984 Jun 1;109(11):446-55.

[Campylobacter jejuni: an important causative agent of food infection in man. An overview].

[Article in Dutch]


Since a few years, Campylobacter jejuni has been identified as an important cause of acute enteritis in man. Various studies showed that Campylobacter enteritis is as common as salmonellosis, and that the symptoms often are even more severe. That this species of bacterium was not discovered until recently, was due in part to the fact that unusual methods of isolation are required; for instance, Campylobacter jejuni will only grow in a micro-aerophilic atmosphere. Campylobacteriosis was found to be a foodborne infection in the majority of cases. The organism was isolated from a large number of species of wild and domesticated animals, which, as in the case of Salmonella, are mainly asymptomatic carriers. Of farm animals, poultry and pigs are most frequently infected. The most important sources of human infection are poultry meat, unpasteurized milk, inadequately treated drinking water and, as a direct source, dogs with enteritis. Only poultry was found to play a role in the Netherlands. Pork is mostly not contaminated as Campylobacter dies during cooling of pig carcasses, death being due to the drying effect of forced ventilation. The sensitivity of Campylobacter to dry conditions, in conjunction with its inability to multiply below 30 degrees C, means that the mechanism of cross contamination, which is such an important factor in the epidemiology of Salmonella, is of minor significance in Campylobacter.

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