Campylobacter Reactive Arthritis: A Systematic Review
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OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on the epidemiology of Campylobacter-associated reactive arthritis (ReA). METHODS: A Medline (PubMed) search identified studies from 1966 to 2006 that investigated the epidemiology of Campylobacter-associated ReA. Search terms included: "reactive arthritis," "spondyloarthropathy," "Reiter's syndrome," "gastroenteritis," "diarrhea," "epidemiology," "incidence," "prevalence," and "Campylobacter." RESULTS: The literature available to date suggests that the incidence of Campylobacter ReA may occur in 1 to 5% of those infected. The annual incidence of ReA after Campylobacter or Shigella may be 4.3 and 1.3, respectively, per 100,000. The duration of acute ReA varies considerably among reports, and the incidence and impact of chronic ReA from Campylobacter infection is virtually unknown. CONCLUSIONS: Campylobacter-associated ReA incidence and prevalence varies widely among reviews due to case ascertainment differences, exposure differences, lack of diagnostic criteria for ReA, and perhaps genetics and ages of exposed individuals. At the population level it may not be associated with HLA-B27, and inflammatory back involvement is uncommon. Follow-up for long-term sequelae is largely unknown. Five percent of Campylobacter ReA may be chronic or relapsing (with respect to musculoskeletal symptoms).
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