Role of Rodents in transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter

B.G. Meerburg, A. Kijlstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Salmonella and Campylobacter are generally regarded as the most important food-borne pathogens in the world. Reduction or elimination of these pathogens in the first part of the food chain (on the farm) is important to prevent disease among consumers of animal products. In organic farming, elimination becomes more difficult, as food animals are allowed outdoors and have easy access to potential sources of hazardous pathogens. Whilst rodents are often associated by organic farmers with infrastructural damage and eating or spoiling of stored feed and products, their zoonotic risks are frequently underestimated. They can amplify the number of pathogens in the environment and transfer them to food animals. Thus organic farmers should be aware of the need for rodent control from a food safety perspective. Preferably, rodent control should form an integral part of a total package of hygiene measures to prevent transfer of food-borne pathogens. These should also include e.g. control of wild birds and flies and obligatory disinfection of boots/clothes and equipment for farm workers and visitors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2774-2781
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • organic farming
  • organic foods
  • food safety
  • pathogens
  • rodents
  • rodent control
  • infected poultry units
  • broiler flocks
  • risk-factors
  • enteritidis infection
  • mus-musculus
  • layer farms
  • house mouse
  • jejuni
  • mice
  • pigs

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