Introduction Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) remains, throughout Europe, a public health issue. Campylobacter is the most common enteropathogen after the age of five, particularly in Northern Europe.
Objective Epidemiological data of the paediatric population with AGE by Campylobacter.
Methods Retrospective data collection from clinical records of patients less than 18 years with confirmed Campylobacter positive stool cultures over a one year period.
Results Out of 322 patients with AGE and at least one or more clinical criteria for stool culture (fever, blood or mucus stools in our case), in 83 (25.8%) Campylobacter was isolated. Although, this was the most frequently identified agent, there was, an inverse relationship with increasing age (mean age 2.8 years; range 3 weeks to 17 years). Most cases (39.8%) occurred in the spring. Serotypes isolated were C. jejuni in 83.1% and C. coli in 3.6%. Possible food items responsible included free range home produced eggs and non-potable water. In 12% there was a family history of illness and in one patient theres was a previous infection by Campylobacter. Eleven (13.3%) children required admission. Antibiotics were started prior to stool culture results in only two cases; following the stool cultures only one child was given antibiotics, having the remaining 98.8% clinically improved by then.
Discussion AGE is a self-limited disease with most patients recovering within a weak. Rehydration and electrolyte correction is the mainstay of treatment.