About Campylobacter

From the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of campylobacter and other foodborne illness outbreaks.

Chapter 8

Treatment for Campylobacter infection

Does Campylobacter infection require antibiotic treatment?

Patients with Campylobacter infection should drink plenty of fluids as long as the diarrhea lasts in order to maintain hydration. [5]

Dehydration is a common consequence of the diarrhea that infection causes, and, when severe, requires the administration of intravenous fluids. [5] For those not severely dehydrated, taking fluids by mouth works well, especially fluids that contain glucose and electrolytes—e.g., Gatorade or Pedialyte. [5, 12]

Campylobacteriosis is usually a self-limited illness, with fewer than half of patients seen for medical care being good candidates for treatment with antibiotics. [5] But for those patients with a high fever, bloody diarrhea, or stools more frequent than eight times per day, antibiotic-treatment is deemed a “prudent course.” [5] When indicated, such treatment with antibiotics can reduce the average duration of the illness from ten to five days. [1]

In more severe cases of gastroenteritis, antibiotics are often begun before culture results are known. Macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin) are the most effective agents for Campylobacter jejuni. [5, 6] Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, or moxifloxacin) can also be used, but resistance to this class has been rising, at least in part due to the use of this class of antimicrobial in poultry feed. [1, 25]

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Diagnosis of a Campylobacter Infection

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Antimicrobial Resistance in Campylobacter Bacteria

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