Detection of Campylobacter species in stool specimens from patients with symptoms of acute flaccid paralysis in South Africa

  • Mandile Samantha Thobela National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Anthony Marius Smith National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Shelina Moonsamy National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Heleen du Plessis National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Nevashan Govender National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Karen Helena Keddy National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
Keywords: Campylobacter, acute flaccid paralysis, AFP, Guillain-Barré syndrome, GBS, quantitative PCR, PCR

Abstract

Introduction: Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by acute or subacute symmetrical ascending motor weakness, areflexia, and mild-to-moderate sensory abnormalities. Campylobacter jejuni is reported to be the most common bacterium associated with GBS cases. Despite the eradication of polio, the number of reported GBS cases remains considerably high in South Africa with the causative agents not being well described. Methodology: The aim of the study was to investigate the proportion of Campylobacter spp. detected in stool specimens from patients with symptoms of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). Stool specimens from patients presenting with AFP, that were negative for polio and non-polio enteroviruses (NPENT), were processed and screened for the presence of Campylobacter spp. using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Results: Of the 512 stool specimens screened between October 2014 to December 2015, 12% (62/512) were positive for Campylobacter spp. Of these 62 Campylobacter infections: 77.4% (48/62) was C. jejuni; 19.4% (12/62) was Campylobacter coli; 3.2% (2/62) was mixed infections of C. jejuni and C. coli. Conclusions: True association of the disease with Campylobacter spp. will enable the proportion of Campylobacter-induced GBS to be better described in South Africa; this can only be done through systematic studies that include bacterial culture and serology together with molecular methodologies.

Author Biographies

Mandile Samantha Thobela, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

Division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Centre for Enteric Diseases

Anthony Marius Smith, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

Division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Centre for Enteric Diseases

Shelina Moonsamy, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

Division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Centre for Vaccines and Immunology

Heleen du Plessis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

Division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Centre for Vaccines and Immunology

Nevashan Govender, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response

Karen Helena Keddy, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

Division of the National Health Laboratory Service, Centre for Enteric Diseases

Published
2018-07-31
How to Cite
1.
Thobela MS, Smith AM, Moonsamy S, du Plessis H, Govender N, Keddy KH (2018) Detection of Campylobacter species in stool specimens from patients with symptoms of acute flaccid paralysis in South Africa. J Infect Dev Ctries 12:542-549. doi: 10.3855/jidc.9795
Section
Original Articles