Campylobacter enteritis is an infection of the small intestine with Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.
People most often get infected by eating or drinking food or water, often raw poultry, fresh produce, or unpasteurized milk.
A person can also be infected by close contact with infected people or animals.
Symptoms start 2 - 4 days after being exposed to the bacteria. They usually last 1 week, and may include:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. The following tests may be ordered:
The infection almost always goes away on its own and does not need to be treated with antibiotics. Severe symptoms may respond to treatment with antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and azithromycin.
The goal is to make you feel better and avoid dehydration. Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.
These things may help you feel better if you have diarrhea:
Most people recover in 5 - 8 days.
When a person's immune system does not work well, the Campylobacter infection may spread to the heart or brain.
Other problems that may occur are:
Call your health care provider if:
Learning how to prevent food poisoning can reduce the risk of this infection.
Food poisoning - campylobacter enteritis; Infectious diarrhea - campylobacter enteritis; Bacterial diarrhea
DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 291.
Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 142.
Giannella RA. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis and bacterial food poisoning. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 107.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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