What is it about?

Campylobacter spp. is often underreported and underrated bacteria that present real health risks to both humans and animals, including non-human primates. It is a commensal microorganism of gastrointestinal tract known to cause gastroenteritis in humans. Commonly found in many wild animals including non-human primates (monkeys- Rhesus macaques) these pathogens are known to be a common cause of diarrhea in humans in many parts of developing and under developed countries. Campylobacter spp. caused the 2018 diarrhea outbreak in Rhesus macaques in the Kathmandu valley.

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Why is it important?

Phylogenetic analysis identified Candidatus Campylobacter infans. Three identified bacteria sequences might potentially belong to a novel Campylobacter species/sub-species- closely relating to known species of C. helviticus. Both Candidatus Campylobacter infans and C. helvitucus are known to infect humans and animals. Additionally, we also detected the bacteria in water and soil samples from the sites. Campylobacter might be one of the important contributing pathogens in diarrheal outbreaks-both in humans and animals (monkeys) in Nepal. Due to close interactions of these animals with humans and other animals, One Health approach is the most effective way to prevent and mitigate the threat posed by this pathogen.


This is one of our important One Health studies where we focused on a disease outbreak in wild animals with close interactions with humans in a very common urban-wildlife interface. This was done through an emerging disease surveillance project called PREDICT, in collaboration with the University of California- Davis. There are still many unknowns when it comes to pathogen reservoirs and spillover dynamics.

Dr Dibesh Karmacharya
Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal

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This page is a summary of: Novel strains of Campylobacter cause diarrheal outbreak in Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) of Kathmandu Valley, PLoS ONE, March 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270778.
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