Thermo-tolerant Campylobacter fetus bacteraemia identified by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing: an emerging pathogen in immunocompromised patients

J Med Microbiol. 2002 Sep;51(9):740-746. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-51-9-740.


Eight Campylobacter isolates that were able to grow at 25 degrees C and 42 degrees C and had the same biochemical profile were isolated from the blood of eight immunocompromised patients. Conventional biochemical tests were unable to determine whether they were isolates of thermo-tolerant C. fetus, H2S-negative C hyointestinalis, or a new Campylobacter species. Sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA genes showed that all eight isolates had the same nucleotide sequence and this was identical to that of C. fetus (GenBank accession no. AF219233). All eight patients had underlying disease and two died despite antibiotic treatment. Because of the ability of C fetus to grow over a wide range of temperatures and a higher incidence of bacteraemia by this organism than C. jejuni in the past 5 years in Hong Kong, thermo-tolerant C fetus may be an emerging pathogen in immunocompromised patients in the years to come.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteremia / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Campylobacter fetus / classification*
  • Campylobacter fetus / genetics
  • Campylobacter fetus / growth & development
  • Campylobacter fetus / isolation & purification
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / microbiology*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Female
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Temperature


  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF219233