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Continuous Source Outbreak of Campylobacteriosis Traced to Chicken

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Poultry is a source of human campylobacteriosis, but a large continuous source outbreak, heretofore, has not been attributed to both a single source of poultry and single serotype of Campylobacter. Here we report an outbreak of C. jejuni affecting 6 catering college trainees and 13 patrons of a restaurant in southern England. An epidemiological investigation successfully tracked the outbreak source to the farm of origin. Frequency of occurrence of campylobacters and outbreak serotype distribution were determined in index cases, the local population, and local chicken suppliers. The source farm was investigated and the effect of interventions assessed. A single outbreak serotype of C. jejuni was isolated from trainee chefs, patrons, and chicken supplied to the college by Wholesaler A. The Campylobacter isolation rate for Wholesaler A was 89% (98% outbreak serotype), compared to 40% for non-Wholesaler A (10% outbreak serotype). The isolation rate for 14 months averaged 85% (99% outbreak serotype) in chickens grown on two farms (X and Y) supplying Wholesaler A, contributing ∼40% to all local cases. In the research reported here, a specific strain and hygiene practice were found to be important for understanding transmission of Campylobacter from poultry to humans in this outbreak.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Public Health Laboratory Service, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK 2: Public Health Laboratory, Withington Hospital, Manchester M20 8LR, UK 3: Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland, Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, USA 4: Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland, Biotechnology Institute, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, USA; Department of Microbiology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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