Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Investigation of food and environmental exposures relating to the epidemiology of Campylobacter coli in humans in Northwest England

    Sopwith, Will, Birtles, Andrew, Matthews, Margaret, Fox, Andrew J., Gee, Steven, James, Sam, Kempster, Jeanette, Painter, Michael, Edwards-Jones, Valerie, Osborn, Keith, Regan, Martyn, Syed, Qutub and Bolton, Eric (2010) Investigation of food and environmental exposures relating to the epidemiology of Campylobacter coli in humans in Northwest England. Applied and environmental microbiology, 76 (1). pp. 129-135. ISSN 1098-5336

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    This study uses multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to investigate the epidemiology of Campylobacter coli in a continuous study of a population in Northwest England. All cases of Campylobacter identified in four Local Authorities (government administrative boundaries) between 2003 and 2006 were identified to species level and then typed, using MLST. Epidemiological information was collected for each of these cases, including food and recreational exposure variables, and the epidemiologies of C. jejuni and C. coli were compared using case-case methodology. Samples of surface water thought to represent possible points of exposure to the populations under study were also sampled, and campylobacters were typed with multilocus sequence typing. Patients with C. coli were more likely to be older and female than patients with C. jejuni. In logistic regression, C. coli infection was positively associated with patients eating undercooked eggs, eating out, and reporting problems with their water supply prior to illness. C. coli was less associated with consuming pork products. Most of the cases of C. coli yielded sequence types described elsewhere in both livestock and poultry, but several new sequence types were also identified in human cases and water samples. There was no overlap between types identified in humans and surface waters, and genetic analysis suggested three distinct clades but with several "intermediate" types from water that were convergent with the human clade. There is little evidence to suggest that epidemiological differences between human cases of C. coli and C. jejuni are a result of different food or behavioral exposures alone.

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