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CAMPYLOBACTER COLI

PATHOGEN SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Campylobacter coli

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Formerly known as Campylobacter fetus subsp. jejuni Footnote 1. Disease known as Campylobacteriosis or Campylobacter enteritis.

CHARACTERISTICS: Campylobacter coli is a microaerobic, non-spore forming, gram-negative, oxidase-positive bacterium of the Camplobacteraceae family. They form motile, spiral shaped rods that are 0.2-0.9 μm wide and 0.5-5 μm long, and moves by a corkscrew-like motion Footnote 2. One unsheathed polar flagella is present at the end (or both ends) of the cell, which gives the bacterium a slender “S” shape, and this spiral appearance is its most distinguishable feature. C. coli grows slowly in culture and have an optimum temperature of 42°C Footnote 3. Old cultures or ones exposed to air for extended periods tend to become spherical or coccoid Footnote 4.

SECTION II - HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

PATHOGENICITY/TOXICITY: Campylobacter coli, along with C. jejuni, is one of the most common species of the genus and is a major agent of gastroenteritis and acute enterocolitis in humans, and also of acute diarrheal illnesses in developed countries Footnote 2, Footnote 4. Typical symptoms include watery diarrhea that may contain red or white blood cells, inflammatory enterocolitis, abdominal pain, fever, malaise, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually last for about a week, with relapses occurring in 5-10% of cases if untreated, and persistent symptoms may be observed in immunocompromised patients Footnote 3, Footnote 4. A large number of campylobacter infections are asymptomatic Footnote 3; however, although the illness is generally mild, many complications can be preceded by enteritis, including bacteremia, hepatitis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, urinary tract infection, abortion, myocarditis and meningitis Footnote 4. In developing countries where infections are endemic, the majority of symptomatic cases occur in young children.

EPIDEMIOLOGY: C. coli is of worldwide prevalence, and is common in both developed and developing countries with most outbreaks related to food or water-borne causes Footnote 3, Footnote 4. C. coli infections are commonly sporadic and show seasonal trends, with most cases occurring in late summer/early fall in developed countries, although the reason for this pattern is not fully understood Footnote 5. Infection is primarily associated with handling and consumption of raw meat. The majority of cases are sporadic with outbreaks accounting for only a small number of cases Footnote 3, Footnote 4, Footnote 6. However, there have been outbreaks caused by the distribution of water or milk, which have infected 3000 people at a time Footnote 7

HOST RANGE: Pigs are the main host Footnote 2, humans, avian animals, and a wide range of other animals such as cattle, and sheep can also be infected Footnote 4, Footnote 6.

INFECTIOUS DOSE: As low as 500 organisms by ingestion Footnote 7. One volunteer study found that 9000 bacteria were required to infect 50 percent of subjects Footnote 7.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Oral ingestion of bacteria from contaminated food (primarily chicken) or contaminated drinking water. Contact with animals and their feces is also a source of infection Footnote 8. The prevalence of campylobacter on chicken carcasses is very high and cross contamination can easily occur during food preparation.

INCUBATION PERIOD: Approximately 1 to 10 days Footnote 6.

COMMUNICABILITY: Low, person-to-person transmission is unusual Footnote 9.

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Pigs, poultry, cattle, sheep, birds Footnote 4. Nearly all natural water sources are contaminated with C. coli Footnote 2.

ZOONOSIS: Yes – Transmitted from a variety of animals (birds and mammals) Footnote 8. Colonization is commonly observed in poultry, which is a major agent in transmission to humans Footnote 2.

VECTORS: Flies have been suggested as a possible vector Footnote 9.

SECTION IV - STABILITY AND VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Susceptible to macrolides, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, nitrofurantoin and tetracycline Footnote 4. Antibiotic resistant strains are emerging particularly to fluoroquinolones and erythromycin Footnote 10.

DRUG RESISTANCE: Antibiotic resistance strains are emerging particularly to fluoroquinolones, macrolides, trimethoprim, beta lactam antibiotics, including penicillin and most cephalosporins, as well as to tetracycline, quinolone and kanamycin Footnote 7, Footnote 10.

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Inactivation can be achieved by using >1.5% concentration of NaCl. A related pathogen C. jejuni is susceptible to 10 mg/L iodophor, 1:50 000 quaternary ammonium compound, 0.15% phenolic compound, 70% ethyl alcohol or 0.125% glutaraldehyde all with a contact time of 1 minute or 5mg/L of hypochlorite with a contact time of 5 minutes Footnote 11.

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Inactivated by heat (70°C for 1 min), hydrostatic pressure (450 MPa at 15°C for 30 s) Footnote 12, and pH levels below 5.0 and above 9.0 Footnote 2.

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Campylobacter cells can enter a viable but nonculturable state (VBNC) when subject to stress. This is thought to improve their survival in the environment Footnote 13. Campylobacter can survive for many weeks in water at 4°C, but only a few days above 15°C Footnote 14, and for 2-10 hours when exposed to drying Footnote 2.

SECTION V – FIRST AID / MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms. Campylobacter infection can be confirmed by culturing and identification of bacteria in stool. Recent Campylobacter infections can be identified using serologic tests Footnote 15.

Note: All diagnostic methods are not necessarily available in all countries.

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Administer proper antimicrobial therapy. Treatment is primarily supportive as most infections are self-limiting Footnote 4, Footnote 16. Antibiotic therapy may be required in more serious cases particularly in young, elderly or immunocompromised patients Footnote 17. Erythromycin is the drug of choice for treating Campylobacter gastroenteritis Footnote 15.

IMMUNIZATION: None.

PROPHYLAXIS: None.

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Yes, several cases have been reported for Campylobacter spp. Footnote 18.

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Fecal samples, blood and specimens from animals Footnote 4.

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Ingestion or parenteral inoculation of bacteria Footnote 18, Footnote 19.

SPECIAL HAZARDS: If contacted during pregnancy, the exposure may have adverse effects on the fetus Footnote 18.

SECTION VII – EXPOSURE CONTROLS / PERSONAL PROTECTION

RISK GROUP CLASSIFICATION: Risk Group 2 Footnote 20.

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Containment Level 2 facilities, equipment, and operational practices for work involving infectious or potentially infectious materials, animals, or cultures.

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Lab coat. Gloves when direct skin contact with infected materials or animals is unavoidable. Eye protection must be used where there is a known or potential risk of exposure to splashes Footnote 21.

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: All procedures that may produce aerosols, or involve high concentrations or large volumes should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet (BSC). The use of needles, syringes, and other sharp objects should be strictly limited. Additional precautions should be considered with work involving animals or large scale activities Footnote 21.

SECTION VIII – HANDLING AND STORAGE

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle and, wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply an appropriate disinfectant, starting at the perimeter and working towards the centre. Allow sufficient contact time before clean up Footnote 21.

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all wastes that contain or have come in contact with the infectious organism by autoclave, chemical disinfection, gamma irradiation, or incineration before disposing Footnote 21.

STORAGE: The infectious agent should be stored in leak-proof containers that are appropriately labelled Footnote 21.

SECTION IX - REGULATORY AND OTHER INFORMATION

UPDATED: December 2011

PREPARED BY: Pathogen Regulation Directorate, Public Health Agency of Canada.

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Pathogen Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright ©
Public Health Agency of Canada, 2011
Canada

REFERENCES:

Footnote 1
Griffiths, P. L., & Park, R. W. A. (1990). Campylobacters associated with human diarrhoeal disease. Journal of Applied Bacteriology, 69(3), 281-301.

Footnote 2
Borriello, S. P., Murray, P. R., & Funke, G. (2005). Enterococci. In S. P. Borriello, P. R. Murray & G. Funke (Eds.), Topley & Wilson's Microbiology & Microbial Infections (10th ed., pp. 883-902). Washington, DC, USA: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd.

Footnote 3
Allos, B. M. (2001). Campylobacter jejuni infections: Update on emerging issues and trends. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 32(8), 1201-1206.

Footnote 4
Fitzgerald, C., & Nachamkin, I. (2007). Campylobacter and Arcobacter. In P. R. Murray (Ed.), Manual of Clinical Microbiology (9th ed., pp. 933-946). Washington D.C.: ASM Press.

Footnote 5
Allos, B. M., & Blaser, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases. (7th ed.). USA: (c) Churchill Livingston, New York.

Footnote 6
Humphrey, T., O'Brien, S., & Madsen, M. (2007). Campylobacters as zoonotic pathogens: A food production perspective. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 117(3), 237-257.

Footnote 7
Allos, B. M.Microbiology, pathogenesis, and epidemiology of Campylobacter infection. www.uptodate.com

Footnote 8
Krauss, H., Schiefer, H. G., Weber, A., Slenczka, W., Appel, M., von Graevenitz, A., Enders, B., Zahner, H., & Isenberg, H. D. (2003). Bacterial Zoonoses. In H. Krauss, H. G. Schiefer, A. Weber, W. Slenczka, M. Appel, A. von Graevenitz, B. Enders, H. Zahner & H. D. Isenberg (Eds.), Zoonoses: Infectious Diseases Transmissible from Animals to Humans (Third ed., pp. 216-217). Washington, D.C.: ASM Press.

Footnote 9
Ekdahl, K., Normann, B., & Andersson, Y. (2005). Could flies explain the elusive epidemiology of campylobacteriosis? BMC Infectious Diseases, 5

Footnote 10
Alfredson, D. A., & Korolik, V. (2007). Antibiotic resistance and resistance mechanisms in Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 277(2), 123-132.

Footnote 11
Wang, W. L. L., Powers, B. W., Luechtefeld, N. W., & Blaser, M. J. (1983). Effects of disinfectants on Campylobacter jejuni. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 45(4), 1202-1205.

Footnote 12
Lori, S., Buckow, R., Knorr, D., Heinz, V., & Lehmacher, A. (2007). Predictive model for inactivation of Campylobacter spp. by heat and high hydrostatic pressure. Journal of Food Protection, 70(9), 2023-2029.

Footnote 13
Murphy, C., Carroll, C., & Jordan, K. N. (2006). Environmental survival mechanisms of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 100(4), 623-632.

Footnote 14
Nachamkin, I., & Skirrow, M. B. (1998). Campylobacter, Arcobacter and Helicobacter. In A. Balows, & B. I. Duerden (Eds.), Topley & Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections: Systematic Bacteriology (9th ed., pp. 1241). London: Arnold.

Footnote 15
Allos, B. M. (2011). Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of Campylobacter infection. www.uptodate.com

Footnote 16
Altekruse, S. F., Stern, N. J., Fields, P. I., & Swerdlow, D. L. (1999). Campylobacter jejuni - An emerging foodborne pathogen. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 5(1), 28-35.

Footnote 17
Luangtongkum, T., Jeon, B., Han, J., Plummer, P., Logue, C. M., & Zhang, Q. (2009). Antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter: Emergence, transmission and persistence. Future Microbiology, 4(2), 189-200.

Footnote 18
Collins, C. H., & Kennedy, D. A. (1999). Laboratory acquired infections. Laboratory acquired infections: History, incidence, causes and prevention (4th ed., pp. 1-37). Woburn, MA: BH.

Footnote 19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (5th ed.). USA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Footnote 20
Human Pathogens and Toxins Act. S.C. 2009, c. 24. Government of Canada, Second Session, Fortieth Parliament, 57-58 Elizabeth II, 2009, (2009).

Footnote 21
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2004). In Best M., Graham M. L., Leitner R., Ouellette M. and Ugwu K. (Eds.), Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines (3rd ed.). Canada: Public Health Agency of Canada.