Campylobacter and Helicobacter species


  • Gram-negative bacteria with a curved bacillary appearance on Gram stain [Fig].
    • Oxidase positive.
    • Grow best at 37º-41ºC.
  • See separate modules for the following organisms:
    • C. jejuni [see C. jejuni module for information specific to this species] is the most common Campylobacter member causing human disease, causing > 90% of human Campylobacter illness.
    • See the separate H. pylori module for recommendations for this organism.
  • Covered in this module:
    • Other Campylobacter members include C. coli (after C. jejuni, second most common), C. fetus >> C. lari, C. gracilis, C. concisus, C. ureolyticus, C. upsaliensis.
      • Usually, a cause of gastroenteritis.
      • Worldwide zoonosis, with C. fetus causing abortion in cattle and sheep.
    • Helicobacter spp. closely related to Campylobacter (e.g., H. pylori, formerly C. pylori)
      • H. cinaedi, H. fennelliae, H. pullorum, H. westmeadii and H. canadensis have all been described as causing human illness.
      • These species are uncommon causes of enteritis, cellulitis and sepsis, often in immunocompromised.

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Last updated: June 13, 2024