Immunological Studies on Strains of Campylobacter Jejuni Isolated in Lagos, Nigeria.

Author: Obi, Chikwelu Lawrence

Supervisor: Adetoye Olusegun Coker

Microbiology is a dynamic discipline, the taxonomy of some species is rapidly changing. Organisms which were not known to previously cause infection of some opportunistic pathogens are now incriminated in disease causation. Until recently, the unequivocal bacterial agents of diarrhoea in our environment and even world wide were Salmonella spp., Shigella spp. and Vibrio cholera. However more recent bacterial agents of diarrhoea or gastroenteritis include Yersinia enterocolitica, Clostridium difficle, Liseria monocytogenes and Campylobacter jejuni. In Nigeria, cases of diarrhoea due to Campylobacter jejuni may exceed the frequency of salmonelle and Shigella combined (Coker and Dosunmu-Ogunbi, 1983). In Nigeria, studies on Campylobacter are still at its infacy. Until date, reports on Campylobacter jejuni have been on pathogenicity assessment, biotype and serogroups distribution, plasmid profiles, Campylobacter as agent of gestroenterities and anti-microbial agents. Presently, detailed immunological studies or reports on Campylobacter jejuni are lacking in Nigeria. For example, production of antisera against the organism has not been attempted. Experimental studies involving diagnostic or protective effects of anti-Campylobacter antibody in line with recent developments in Imunology are not available. The levels of antibodies among patients with diarrhoes due to Campylobacter jejuni and asymptomatic individuals including the bactericidal power of normal human serum against the organism have also not been determined. A simple presumptive test for the organism in our environment is still non-existent. In light of all these, should we remain complacent and continue to depend on reports from developed countries? As microbiologists are we not aware that strains of particular organism vary from country to country? Is it then very appropriate to continue to import antisera for the diagnosis of our local strains of Campylobacter jejuni? As indigenous scientists, do we have any justification in believing that for example, immunological studies on a particular organism carried out abroad must bear relevance to our local organism? This thesis is an attempt to document immunological studies on our local strains of Campylobacter jejuni.