Campylobacter (camp-UH-low-back-ter) is a genus of bacteria that is among the most common causes of bacterial infections in humans worldwide.
The infective dose—that is, the number of bacteria that must be ingested to cause illness—is relatively small. Ingestion of as few as 500 organisms, an amount that can be found in one drop of chicken juice, has been shown to cause human infection.
Most Campylobacter infections in humans are caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. Direct contact with infected animals, including pets, is also a well-documented means of disease-transmission.
In the United States, these bacteria are the most common cause of bacterial foodborne illness, ahead of Salmonella—the second most common cause. According to the CDC, based on data collected through its Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network.
Although most cases of Campylobacter infection in humans are sporadic, a substantial number of outbreaks—30 outbreaks by one report, and 50 by another—have been linked to the consumption of unpasteurized (raw) milk.
As one authority points out, commercially raised poultry is nearly always colonized with C. jejuni, slaughterhouse procedures amplify contamination, and chicken and turkey in supermarkets, ready for consumers to take home, frequently is contaminated.
Diarrhea is the most consistent and prominent manifestation of Campylobacteriosis and is often bloody. Campylobacteriosis symptoms can range from diarrhea and lethargy that lasts a day to severe diarrhea and abdominal pain (and occasionally fever) that lasts for several weeks. Diarrhea and abdominal pain are the most common symptoms, and most cases are mild.
For those persons who suffer a Campylobacter infection that does not resolve on its own, the complications (or sequelae) can be many. Complications can include septicemia (bacterial pathogens in the blood, also known as bacteremia), meningitis, inflammation of the gall bladder (cholecystitis), urinary tract infections, and appendicitis. A sizeable percentage of persons who suffer Campylobacter infections develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which causes neuromuscular paralysis. Over time, the paralysis is to some extent typically reversible; nonetheless, approximately 20% of patients with GBS are left disabled, and approximately 5% die.
Campylobacter: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Campylobacter outbreaks. The Campylobacter lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Campylobacter and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Campylobacterlawyers have litigated Campylobacter cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as chicken, raw milk and municipal water.
If you or a family member became ill with a Campylobacter infection, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or GBS, after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Campylobacter attorneys for a free case evaluation.