Quantifying potential sources of surface water contamination with Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli

Lapo Mughini-Gras, Christian Penny, Catherine Ragimbeau, Franciska M. Schets, Hetty Blaak, Birgitta Duim, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Albert de Boer, Henry-Michel Cauchie, Joel Mossong, Wilfrid Van Pelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Campylobacter is the most common causative agent of human bacterial gastroenteritis and is frequently found in surface water, where it indicates recent contamination with animal faeces, sewage effluent, and agricultural run-off. The contribution of different animal reservoirs to surface water contamination with Campylobacter is largely unknown. In the Netherlands, the massive poultry culling to control the 2003 avian influenza epidemic coincided with a 44–50% reduction in human campylobacteriosis cases in the culling areas, suggesting substantial environment-mediated spread of poultry-borne Campylobacter. We inferred the origin of surface water Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as defined by multilocus sequence typing, by comparison to strains from poultry, pigs, ruminants, and wild birds, using the asymmetric island model for source attribution. Most Luxembourgish water strains were attributed to wild birds (61.0%), followed by poultry (18.8%), ruminants (15.9%), and pigs (4.3%); whereas the Dutch water strains were mainly attributed to poultry (51.7%), wild birds (37.3%), ruminants (9.8%), and pigs (1.2%). Attributions varied over seasons and surface water types, and geographical variation in the relative contribution of poultry correlated with the magnitude of poultry production at either the national or provincial level, suggesting that environmental dissemination of Campylobacter from poultry farms and slaughterhouses can be substantial in poultry-rich regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
JournalWater Research
Volume101
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • campylobacter
  • surface water
  • water quality
  • pollution
  • water pollution
  • microbiology
  • wild birds
  • poultry
  • campylobacter jejuni
  • campylobacter coli
  • netherlands
  • luxembourg

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