Campylobacter jejuni: Characteristic Features of the Organism and Identification of Transmissible Plasmids in Tetracycline-Resistant Clinical Isolates
In recent years Campylobacter jejuni has been recognized throughout the world as a common cause of bacterial diarrhea1,2. The organism is microaerophilic, and therefore requires special conditions for selection and growth. Methods developed by Butzler and colleagues3,4 in Belgium and Skirrow5 in the United Kingdom have enabled many microbiological laboratories to isolate this organism from stools and have led to its recognition as a significant enteric pathogen. The relative frequencies of organisms causing gastroenteritis isolated during 1978 and 1979 at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto are shown in Table 1. Among pediatric patients reporting with diarrhea, C. jejuni was isolated almost as often as non-typhoidal salmonella. Other enteric pathogens were isolated much less frequently. The most common clinical features of Campylobacter enteritis are diarrhea, often accompanied by blood in the stools, and abdominal pain2. Several excellent review articles have been published recently, dealing with both the disease and the causative organisml,2,6,7,8. The reader is referred to them for more detailed information. In this article, I will describe the significant features of Campylobacters, including their morphology, growth requirements and resistance to antibiotics. I will then discuss recent work on transmissible plasmids that mediate tetracycline resistance in C.jejuni, a preliminary report of which has been published9.
KeywordsMinimal Inhibitory Concentration Clinical Isolate Nalidixic Acid Sick Child Tetracycline Resistance
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