Real Life Impacts of Campylobacter Infection
Guillain-Barre syndrome brought on by Campylobacter infection can be devastating.
Because the illnesses caused by the ingestion of Campylobacter bacteria range from mild to severe, the real life impacts of Campylobacter infection vary from person to person.
While anyone can become ill with Campylobacter infection, very young children, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are most likely to develop severe illness.
- An estimated 1 in 1,000 patients with Campylobacter infection develop a rare disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome, or GBS. GBS typically sets in several weeks after acute Campylobacter infection. During GBS, a person’s immune system attacks the body’s nerves, resulting in paralysis that can last for several weeks or years. According to the CDC, as many as 40% of Guillain-Barre syndrome cases in the U.S. may be triggered by Campylobacter infection. 
- An unknown percentage of patients with Campylobacter infections develop reactive arthritis.
Although most patients with Campylobacter infections recover within a few days, some continue to experience complications of GBS for years.
One woman whose life was permanently altered by this devastating pathogen volunteered to share the story of how her Campylobacter infection and GBS permanently changed her life. Mari Tardiff was an accomplished athlete, public-health nurse, wife and mother when she fell ill with Campylobacter jejuni and GBS.