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The Most Common Bacterial Cause of Food Poisoning Could Also Be an STI

A new study looking at men who have sex with men (#MSM) has shown for the first time that #Campylobacter (a common bacterial cause of #food poisoning) is likely being passed on as a sexually transmitted infection (#STI) as well.

Campylobacter is a genus of squiggly bacteria that can cause humans quite a butt-ache. The bacterium is one of the reasons you've been told to make sure poultry is thoroughly cooked before you eat it, and why you are more likely to end up with a bout of gastroenteritis while on holidays.

But even if you're fastidious with cooking your meat and purifying your water, you've probably experienced it at some point in your life. The disease it causes - campylobacteriosis – manifests with diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever and pain, which will usually go away on its own after a few days to a week.

"Transmission to humans occurs primarily through unsafe handling or consumption of raw or undercooked chicken, consumption of raw milk, or contact with domestic animals," the research team – led by University of Oklahoma infectious disease epidemiologist Katrin Kuhn - wrote in their new paper.

"However, a large proportion of cases cannot be easily explained by these factors and it has been suggested that other infection routes (e.g., the environment) are equally important in explaining transmission of this disease."

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