The main difference between Campylobacter and Helicobacter is that Campylobacter has unipolar or bipolar flagella whereas Helicobacter has multiple polar flagella.
Key Areas Covered
- What is Campylobacter
- Definition, Characteristics, Importance
- What is Helicobacter
- Definition, Characteristics, Importance
- Similarities Between Campylobacter and Helicobacter
- Outline of Common Features
- Difference Between Campylobacter and Helicobacter
- Comparison of Key Differences
What is Campylobacter
Campylobacter is a genus of Gram-negative, curved-shaped bacteria. Generally, these bacteria have a comma-shape or S-shape. Campylobacter is motile with unipolar or bipolar, unsheathed flagella. However, these bacteria can infect humans causing campylobacteriosis, a diarrhoeal disease. Normally, antibacterial therapy is not necessary except in severe cases. The most common source of Campylobacter is poultry. In addition, it can transmit through water and food.
Furthermore, the symptoms of Campylobacter disease are not distinctive to differentiate it from other enteric pathogens. Symptoms range from mild gastrointestinal distress lasting 24 hours to fulminating or relapsing colitis that mimics ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Predominantly, the symptoms of Campylobacter disease are diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. However, most patients recover within a week.
What is Helicobacter
Helicobacter is a Gram-negative bacterium with a spiral shape. These bacteria mainly occur in the stomach. Their helical shape may help to penetrate the mucoid lining of the stomach, thereby aiding infection. However, the main feature of Helicobacter is that the bacterium is associated with cancer of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue in the stomach, esophagus, colon, rectum, or tissues around the eye. Sometimes, it causes gastritis (stomach inflammation).
Moreover, gastritis cause ulcers in the stomach and the upper parts of the small intestine. The infection is associated with several cancers. However, one of the most important features is that Helicobacter lives on the luminal surface of mucus-secreting cells and within gastric pits, but does not invade tissue.
Similarities Between Campylobacter and Helicobacter
- Campylobacter and Helicobacter are two types of Gram-negative, helical bacteria.
- Both are motile and contain flagella.
- Both are Microaerophilic and require a lower level of dioxygen than present in the atmosphere for their optimal growth.
- They have complex nutritional requirements for growth.
- Usually, both types of bacteria are disease-causing.
Difference Between Campylobacter and Helicobacter
Campylobacter refers to a bacterium that may cause abortion in animals and food poisoning in humans, while Helicobacter refers to a type of bacterium that causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine.
Campylobacter is a motile rod with unipolar or bipolar, unsheathed flagella while Helicobacter is a curved rod with multiple polar, sheathed flagella.
Campylobacter has a wrinkled surface while Helicobacter has a smooth surface.
Moreover, Campylobacter colonizes the small and large intestines, causing inflammatory diarrhea with fever while Helicobacter shelters from gastric acidity in the mucus layer, and a small proportion of cells adheres to the gastric epithelium.
Campylobacter causes acute gastroenteritis with diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting while Helicobacter causes chronic superficial gastritis (stomach inflammation), leading to gastric carcinoma and lymphoma.
Campylobacter is endemic while Helicobacter has a worldwide distribution.
In brief, Campylobacter and Helicobacter are two types of bacteria that are Gram-negative and helical. Generally, Campylobacter is a rod-shaped bacterium with unipolar or bipolar, unsheathed flagella. In contrast, Helicobacter is a curved rod-shaped bacterium with multiple polar, sheathed flagella. Campylobacter forms acute diseases while Helicobacter causes chronic diseases. Here, Campylobacter causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting, while Helicobacter causes gastric carcinoma and lymphoma. Therefore, the main difference between Campylobacter and Helicobacter is their structure and diseases.
- Perez-Perez GI, Blaser MJ. Campylobacter and Helicobacter. In: Baron S, editor. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1996. Chapter 23.
- “Immunohistochemical detection of Helicobacter pylori histopathology” By User:KGH – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
- “ARS Campylobacter jejuni” By De Wood – Own Work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia