Campylobacter (meaning 'twisted bacteria') is a genus of bacteria that are Gram-negative, spiral, and microaerophilic. Motile, with either unipolar or bipolar flagella, the organisms have a characteristic spiral/corkscrew appearance (see photo) and are oxidase-positive. Campylobacter jejuni is now recognized as one of the main causes of bacterial foodborne disease in many developed countries. At least a dozen species of Campylobacter have been implicated in human disease, with C. jejuni and C. coli the most common. C. fetus is a cause of spontaneous abortions in cattle and sheep, as well as an opportunistic pathogen in humans.
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