Campylobacter Infections Treatment & Management

Updated: Feb 03, 2022
  • Author: Mahmud H Javid, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

Replacement of fluids and electrolytes is the mainstay of therapy in patients with Campylobacter infections. Rehydration is done with oral glucose-electrolyte solutions. Intravenous fluids are used if oral rehydration fails.

The use of antibiotics to treat uncomplicated Campylobacter infections is controversial, with studies showing that erythromycin rapidly eliminated Campylobacter organisms from the stool without affecting the duration of illness. Studies in children with C jejuni dysentery have shown benefit from early treatment with erythromycin. Antibiotics may be indicated if any of the following occur:

  • High fever
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Excessive bowel movements (ie, >8 stools per day)
  • Worsening symptoms
  • Failure of symptoms to improve
  • Persistence of symptoms for longer than 1 week
  • Pregnancy
  • HIV infection and other immunocompromised states
  • Avoid antimotility agents because they prolong the duration of symptoms and have been associated with fatalities.
  • Individuals with hypogammaglobulinemia who have recurrent C jejuni bacteremia may require fresh frozen plasma with antibiotics.
  • Patients with severe dysentery or a relapsing course may require hospitalization.
  • Patients with endovascular C fetus infections require at least 4 weeks of treatment; carbapenems or gentamicin are believed to be the agents of choice. 
  • C fetus CNS infections are rare and should be treated in a prolonged manner with a carbapenem such as meropenem. [23]
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Surgical Care

Suspected toxic megacolon or aneurysms should be evaluated surgically.

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Consultations

For toxic megacolon or infected aneurysms, [37]  consult a surgeon.

For endovascular C fetus infections, consult an infectious disease specialist.

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Activity

Patients with Campylobacter infection may engage in activities as tolerated.

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