The electron micrograph of Campylobacter jejuni.
More pictures on bacteria can be found in the ENFO photoalbum!
Campylobacter jejuni is a species of curved, rod-shaped, non-spore forming, Gram-negative microaerophilic bacteria, commonly found in animal feces.
It is one of the most common causes of human gastroenteritis in the world. Food poisoning caused by Campylobacter species can be severely debilitating, but is rarely life-threatening.
C. jejuni is commonly associated with poultry, and it naturally colonises the digestive tract of many bird species. Contaminated drinking water and unpasteurized milk provide an efficient means for distribution. Contaminated food is a major source of isolated infections, with incorrectly prepared meat and poultry normally the source of the bacteria.
Infection with C. jejuni usually results in enteritis, which is characterised by abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and malaise. The symptoms usually persist for between 24 hours and a week, but may be longer. Diarrhea can vary in severity from loose stools to bloody stools. The disease is usually self-limiting. However, it does respond to antibiotics. Severe (accompanying fevers, blood in stools) or prolonged cases may require ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, azithromycin or norfloxacin. The drug of choice is usually erythromycin. About 90% of cases respond to ciprofloxacin treatment. Fluid and electrolyte replacement may be required for serious cases.
The first full-genome sequence of C. jejuni was performed in 2000.