Campylobacter infection

Last reviewed: 24 Aug 2023
Last updated: 28 Jan 2022



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • prodrome of headache, myalgias, chills, fever
  • vomiting
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • recent foreign travel
  • eating raw or undercooked meat (especially chicken)
  • exposure to poultry, cattle, sheep, or other farm animals
  • HIV infection
  • male sex
  • drinking untreated water
  • drinking unpasteurized milk
  • close contact with infected person
  • use of proton pump inhibitors or H2 antagonists
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • stool microscopy
  • stool culture
  • white blood cell count
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • serum Campylobacter serology
  • intestinal biopsy
  • fecal microscopy
  • stool Gram stain
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm





Eli D. Ehrenpreis, MD, FACG, AGAF

Associate Director for Research

Internal Medicine Residency

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Park Ridge


Professor of Medicine

Rosalind Franklin University Medical School

North Chicago



EDE is CEO for E2Bio Life Sciences LLC and GI Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Dr Eli D. Ehrenpreis would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr Thomas Adam Wichelmann who contributed to this update. Dr Eli D. Ehrenpreis would also like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Gregory Juckett, Dr Kristin Furfari, and Professor Sarah O'Brien, the previous contributors to this topic.


TAW, GJ, and KF declare that they have no competing interests. SOB is the author of some references cited in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Justin T. Kupec, MD

Assistant Professor

Section of Digestive Diseases

Department of Medicine

West Virginia University




JTK declares that he has no competing interests.

Stephen Morris-Jones, MBBS, MRCPath

Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences




SMJ declares that he has no competing interests.

Michael Bennish, MD

Senior Associate

Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Johns Hopkins University




MB declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Campylobacter infection images
  • Differentials

    • Salmonella gastroenteritis
    • Shigella gastroenteritis
    • Yersinia gastroenteritis
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • 2017 Infectious Diseases Society of America clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of infectious diarrhea
    • Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of acute diarrheal infections in adults
    More Guidelines
  • Patient leaflets

    Diarrhea in adults

    Diarrhea in children

    More Patient leaflets
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