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NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 11-ID-10

Clinical Description

A diarrheal illness of variable severity.

Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis

Suspect: Detection of Campylobacter spp. in a clinical specimen using non-culture based laboratory methods.

Confirmed: Isolation of Campylobacter spp. in a clinical specimen.

Case Classification


A case that meets the suspect laboratory criteria for diagnosis.


A clinically compatible case that is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case of campylobacteriosis.


A case that meets the confirmed laboratory criteria for diagnosis.


The use of culture independent methods as standalone tests for the direct detection of Campylobacter in stool appears to be increasing. Data available about the performance characteristics of these assays indicates there is variability in the sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of these assays depending on the test (enzyme immunoassay (EIA) test format -lateral flow or –microplate) and manufacturer. It is therefore useful to collect information on which type of EIA test and manufacturer are used to diagnose a case. Culture confirmation of culture independent (e.g., EIA) test positive specimens is ideal.

Related Case Definition(s)