Campylobacter usually causes diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and abdominal cramps, and sometimes causes serious complications such as temporary paralysis. Physicians rely on drugs like ciprofloxacin and azithromycin for treating patients with severe disease. Resistant infections sometimes last longer. Campylobacter has begun showing resistance to both of these drugs.
Campylobacter is estimated to cause approximately 1.3 million infections, 13,000 hospitalizations, and 120 deaths each year in the United States. CDC is seeing resistance to ciprofloxacin in almost 25% of Campylobacter tested and resistance to azithromycin in about 2%. Costs are expected to be higher for resistant infections because antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter infections sometimes last longer.