Campylobacter coli

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Campylobacter coli
ARS Campylobacter jejuni.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Epsilonproteobacteria
Order: Campylobacterales
Family: Campylobacteraceae
Genus: Campylobacter
Species: C. coli
Binomial name
Campylobacter coli
(Doyle, 1948) Véron and Chatelain, 1973

Campylobacter coli is a bacterium species in the genus Campylobacter. 28 proteins have been identified present only in Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, indicating a close relationship between these two species. It is identified as a gram-negative, S-shaped bacterium, non-spore forming and microaerophillic as well. [1] However, unlike C. jejuni, C. coli is much less prevalent in cases dealing with infections. Although much more rare than its cousin, C. coli is just as effective in causing debilitating problems, which are usually non-lethal.


C. coli, just like E. coli, can be found in the intestinal lining, and sometimes can be found in high enough concentrations to get into the blood stream. When it leaks to the blood stream, C. coli can cause intestinal inflammation and diarrhea in both humans and animals. In humans and animals, it usually takes up a commensal relationship, living inside the intestines while causing no harm to the species.

Besides infection via blood infection due to being found in the intestinal lining, the infection can also spread in multiple other ways. If an animal is infected and dies, the C. coli still live inside the meat. Unless the meat is properly prepared to kill the bacteria, it can survive and cause infection. This is very similar to the way in which E. Coli infects humans. Another method through which C. coli can spread is through unclean water sources, which can also lead to serious infections if the water is impure enough.

Human Diseases[edit]

At least a dozen species of Campylobacter have been implicated in human disease (Campylobacteriosis), with C. jejuni and C. coli the most common. In humans, 85% to 95% of infections by the Campylobacter species involve C. jejuni, while C. coli is involved in a majority of the other cases. [2] The bacterium is also found in cattle, swine and birds. Similar to the C. jejuni, the C. coli has the ability to cause enteritis with symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool and fever. These symptoms are caused by a protein it contains called cytolethal-distending toxin (CDT). This toxin kills cells by blocking portions of the cell cycle, as well as causing DNA damage. [3]

The best treatments for C. coli poisoning seem to be similar to those of C. jejuni. These treatments include antimicrobial drugs such as erythromycin, fluoroquinolones, and tetracycline.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lansing M. Prescott, John P. Harley, and Donald A. Klein, 2005. Campylobacter. Microbiology 6th Edition 430-433, 500.
  2. ^ Lansing M. Prescott, John P. Harley, and Donald A. Klein, 2005. Campylobacter. Microbiology 6th Edition 430-433, 500.
  3. ^ National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2007. Genome Project. National Center for Biotechnology Information Web Site