31 January 2018
This review by Prof. Hampson (Head of Department and Chair Professor of Pathobiology) describes the spirochete Brachyspira pilosicoli and associated diseases. It aims to encourage clinicians and clinical microbiologists to consider Brachyspira pilosicoli in their differential diagnoses and to develop and use appropriate diagnostic protocols to identify the spirochete in clinical specimens.
Brachyspira pilosicoli is a slow-growing anaerobic spirochete that colonizes the large intestine. Colonization occurs commonly in pigs and adult chickens, causing colitis/typhlitis, diarrhoea, poor growth rates, and reduced production. Colonization of humans is also common in some populations (individuals living in village and peri-urban settings in developing countries, recent immigrants from developing countries, homosexual males, and HIV-positive patients), but the spirochete is rarely investigated as a potential human enteric pathogen.