Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading causes of bacterial diarrhea worldwide and is associated with a number of sequelae, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome, reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and growth stunting/malnutrition. Vaccine development against C. jejuni is complicated by its antigenic diversity, a lack of small animal models, and a poor understanding of the bacterium's pathogenesis. Vaccine approaches have been limited to recombinant proteins, none of which have advanced beyond Phase I testing. Genomic analyses have revealed the presence of a polysaccharide capsule on C. jejuni. Given the success of capsule-conjugate vaccines for other mucosal pathogens of global importance, efforts to evaluate this established approach for C. jejuni are also being pursued. A prototypical capsule-conjugate vaccine has demonstrated efficacy against diarrheal disease in non-human primates and is currently in Phase I testing. In addition to proof of concept studies, more data on the global prevalence of capsular types, and a better understanding of the acute and chronic consequences of C. jejuni are needed to inform investments for a globally relevant vaccine.
Riddle, M. S., & Guerry, P. (2016). Status of vaccine research and development for Campylobacter jejuni. Vaccine, 34(26), 2903–2906. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.02.080