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Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Jun;110(3):567-73.

Campylobacter bacteraemia in England and Wales, 1981-91.

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Public Health Laboratory, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester.


Routine surveillance of infection in England and Wales detected 394 cases of campylobacter bacteraemia in 11 years. This represented an average incidence of 1.5 per 1000 intestinal campylobacter infections, with a range of 0.3/1000 in children aged 1-4 years to 5.9/1000 in patients aged 65 years or more. Definitive identification of 257 isolates showed that 89% were Campylobacter jejuni or C. coli; other species were C. fetus (8.6%), C. lari (0.8%), C. upsaliensis (0.8%), Helicobacter (Campylobacter) fennelliae (0.8%), and Helicobacter (Campylobacter) cinaedi (0.4%). Most (71%) of the C. jejuni/C. coli bacteraemias were in patients with acute enteritis. Of the patients with C. fetus bacteraemia only 27% had diarrhoea; they were older than patients with C. jejuni or C. coli bacteraemia (54.1 v. 45.9 years) and proportionally more of them were male (M:F ratio 2.7:1 v. 1.9:1); 41% had endovascular pathology or cellulitis. There was a higher proportion of C. jejuni serogroup O 4 (Penner) and O 18 strains among blood than faecal isolates, which suggests that they were unusually serum resistant and/or invasive.

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