Molecular testing for Campylobacter jejuni is used for laboratory confirmation of infection by this particular microbe, which is the leading cause of sporadic bacterial diarrhea, with poultry being the major source of infection.
The genus Campylobacter is composed of Gram-negative, spiral, microaerophilic bacteria. They are mobile, have flagella in either pole or both, are somewhat convex in shape, resemble rods, and are oxidase-positive. Campylobacter jejuni is now recognized as one of the leading causes of foodborne bacterial disease in many developed countries. At least twelve different Campylobacter species have been implicated in human diseases, with Campylobacter jejuni (found in bovine, porcine, and birds in which are non-pathogenic) and Campylobacter coli (also found in cattle, pigs, and birds) being the most common.
The most common forms of transmission are the fecal-oral route, the consumption of contaminated food (poultry, dairy) or water, and the consumption of non-cooked meat. Campylobacter infection causes an inflammatory syndrome, sometimes with bloody diarrhea or dysentery, cramping, fever, and abdominal pain. Infection is usually self-limiting and in most cases, symptomatic treatment with fluids and electrolytes is sufficient. The use of antibiotics in Campylobacter infections is controversial.
The sites of damage caused by microbes include the jejunum, ileum, and colon. The damage due to Campylobacter jejuni seems to be due to the destruction of the epithelial cells of the gut.
Occasionally, Campylobacter jejuni infection can be followed by neurological complications. About 30% of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome are related to a recent Campylobacter jejuni infection. The etiology of this condition is apparently the molecular mimicry between certain Campylobacter jejuni antigens and nerve cell gangliosides.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.