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October 1981

Campylobacter Gastroenteritis in Neonates

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(10):900-902. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130340012005

Campylobacter fetus enteritis is thought to be an unusual infection in the newborn. We describe eight term neonates with gastroenteritis caused by C fetus subspecies jejuni who were seen during a two-year period. Symptoms of bloody diarrhea (7/8) and irritability (6/8) began between 2 and 11 days of age. None of the infants was seriously ill; only one infant was febrile. None of the seven infants who had blood cultures drawn had bacteremia with C fetus, and none of the infants had complications. The infants were treated with antimicrobial agents and recovered rapidly. Five mothers had Campylobacter cultured from the stool or vagina. The cases were not related epidemiologically. We concluded that Campylobacter gastroenteritis in the newborn clinically resembles Campylobacter gastroenteritis in older children and adults, except that it is generally an afebrile illness. The bacterium most likely is acquired from the mother during or shortly after delivery.

(Am J Dis Child 1981;135:900-902)