Preventing Campylobacter at the Source: Why Is It So Difficult?

J.A. Wagenaar, N.P. French, A.H. Havelaar

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Campylobacteriosis in humans, caused by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, is the most common recognized bacterial zoonosis in the European Union and the United States. The acute phase is characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms. The long-term sequelae (Guillain-Barre syndrome, reactive arthritis, and postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome) contribute considerably to the disease burden. Attribution studies identified poultry as the reservoir responsible for up to 80% of the human Campylobacter infections. In the European Union, an estimated 30% of the human infections are associated with consumption and preparation of poultry meat. Until now, interventions in the poultry meat production chain have not been effectively introduced except for targeted interventions in Iceland and New Zealand. Intervention measures (eg, biosecurity) have limited effect or are hampered by economic aspects or consumer acceptance. In the future, a multilevel approach should be followed, aiming at reducing the level of contamination of consumer products rather than complete absence of Campylobacter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1600-1606
JournalClinical infectious diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • united-states
  • new-zealand
  • disease burden
  • broiler meat
  • vertical transmission
  • foodborne pathogens
  • source attribution
  • risk-assessment
  • poultry
  • spp.

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