Campylobacter Jejuni vs. Helicobacter Pylori

What's the Difference?

Campylobacter Jejuni and Helicobacter Pylori are both bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal infections in humans. However, they differ in several aspects. Campylobacter Jejuni is primarily transmitted through contaminated food, especially undercooked poultry, while Helicobacter Pylori is mainly transmitted through person-to-person contact, such as through saliva or fecal-oral route. Campylobacter Jejuni infection typically leads to symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever, while Helicobacter Pylori infection is often associated with chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, and even stomach cancer. Additionally, Campylobacter Jejuni is more commonly found in developed countries, whereas Helicobacter Pylori is prevalent worldwide. Overall, both bacteria pose significant health risks, but their transmission routes, symptoms, and associated diseases differ.


AttributeCampylobacter JejuniHelicobacter Pylori
Scientific NameCampylobacter JejuniHelicobacter Pylori
ShapeCurved RodsCurved Rods
Gram StainGram-negativeGram-negative
Oxygen RequirementMicroaerophilicMicroaerophilic
PathogenicityCauses CampylobacteriosisCauses Gastritis, Peptic Ulcers
TransmissionFoodborne, WaterborneOral-oral, Fecal-oral

Further Detail


Campylobacter Jejuni and Helicobacter Pylori are two bacterial species that belong to the same family, Helicobacteraceae. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of both bacteria, including their morphology, pathogenicity, transmission, and associated diseases.


Campylobacter Jejuni is a curved, spiral-shaped bacterium with a single polar flagellum at one or both ends. It measures approximately 0.2 to 0.5 micrometers in width and 0.5 to 5 micrometers in length. In contrast, Helicobacter Pylori is also a spiral-shaped bacterium but possesses multiple flagella, allowing it to be highly motile. It is slightly larger than Campylobacter Jejuni, with a width of 0.3 to 0.5 micrometers and a length of 2 to 4 micrometers.


Campylobacter Jejuni is a leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. It produces various virulence factors, including adhesins, toxins, and invasion proteins, which enable it to colonize and invade the intestinal epithelium. The infection typically results in symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and occasionally, bloody stools. In contrast, Helicobacter Pylori primarily colonizes the stomach lining and is associated with chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, and an increased risk of gastric cancer. It possesses unique virulence factors, such as the urease enzyme, which helps it survive in the acidic environment of the stomach.


Campylobacter Jejuni is commonly transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food, particularly undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, and contaminated water. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or their feces. On the other hand, Helicobacter Pylori is primarily transmitted through person-to-person contact, such as through oral-oral or fecal-oral routes. It can be spread through close contact with an infected individual, sharing utensils, or consuming contaminated food or water.

Associated Diseases

Campylobacter Jejuni infection, known as campylobacteriosis, is characterized by acute gastroenteritis. While most cases resolve on their own within a week, severe infections can lead to complications such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. In contrast, Helicobacter Pylori infection is often asymptomatic, but it can cause chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, and in some cases, gastric cancer. The presence of Helicobacter Pylori is also associated with an increased risk of developing certain types of lymphomas in the stomach.


The diagnosis of Campylobacter Jejuni infection is typically made by isolating the bacteria from stool samples and confirming its identity through laboratory tests. This can involve culturing the bacteria on selective media, performing biochemical tests, and using molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). On the other hand, diagnosing Helicobacter Pylori infection often involves non-invasive methods such as breath tests, blood tests to detect specific antibodies, or stool antigen tests. Invasive methods, such as endoscopy with biopsy, may be used to directly visualize the bacteria in the stomach lining.


Campylobacter Jejuni infections are usually self-limiting and do not require specific treatment in most cases. However, in severe or prolonged cases, antibiotics such as azithromycin or fluoroquinolones may be prescribed. It is important to note that antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter Jejuni is a growing concern. In contrast, Helicobacter Pylori infections are typically treated with a combination of antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and sometimes bismuth subsalicylate. This combination therapy helps eradicate the bacteria and promote healing of the associated gastric conditions.


In conclusion, Campylobacter Jejuni and Helicobacter Pylori are two distinct bacterial species with different morphological characteristics, pathogenicity, transmission routes, and associated diseases. Campylobacter Jejuni primarily causes gastroenteritis, while Helicobacter Pylori is associated with chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, and an increased risk of gastric cancer. Understanding the attributes of these bacteria is crucial for effective diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the diseases they cause.

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