The genus Campylobacter, (meaning 'twisted bacteria') first
discovered in 1963, describes Gram-negative, spiral, microaerophilic
bacteria. Motile, with either uni- or bi-polar 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
opportunisticpathogen in humans.