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The genus Arcobacter currently comprises many phenotypically different species isolated from diverse niches. Although some Arcobacter spp. (particularly, Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter skirrowii, and Arcobacter cryaerophilus) are associated with various diseases in humans and animals, their exact epidemiological and pathological role is not completely understood, and few cases of human infection are reported. The primary mode of Arcobacter transmission is thought to occur via contaminated water and food and contact with pets. As some species are difficult to cultivate and all are difficult to identify using conventional biochemical tests, nucleic acid-based techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR are increasingly used for their simultaneous detection, identification, and quantification. Their tendency to be resistant to antibiotics, and their ability to colonize food processing environments indicate that they could cause serious disease in the human population, particularly in susceptible individuals with impaired immune response. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.