Science Daily reports that in spite of our long and painful relationship with Campylobacter jejuni, we are just starting to answer basic questions about the bug that is the leading cause of bacterial food-borne illness in the United States, and one of the most common causes of diarrhea worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that "campylobacterioisis" strikes 2.4 million Americans a year.
While most sufferers recover after a few unpleasant days, it can be life threatening to those with compromised immune systems. A rare but serious complication of C. jejuni infection is the triggering of the autoimmune disorder, Guillain-Barré paralysis.
Yale researchers now have some answers to one of the most basic puzzles surrounding C. jejuni infections. How could such a large bacteria gain access to human intestinal epithelial cells that do not normally take up particles of such size" And once inside, how does C. jejuni disappear off the conventional endocytic road map"