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Application of molecular epidemiology to understanding campylobacteriosis in the Canterbury region of New Zealand

  • B. J. GILPIN (a1), G. WALSHE (a1), S. L. ON (a1), D. SMITH (a2), J. C. MARSHALL (a3) and N. P. FRENCH (a3)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.
Summary

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis genotypes of Campylobacter isolates from 603 human patients were compared with 485 isolates from retail offal (primarily chicken and lamb) to identify temporal clusters and possible sources of campylobacteriosis. Detailed epidemiological information was collected from 364 of the patients, and when combined with genotyping data allowed a putative transmission pathway of campylobacteriosis to be assigned for 88% of patients. The sources of infection were 47% food, 28% direct animal contact, 7% overseas travel, 4% person-to-person transmission and 3% water-related. A significant summer increase in campylobacteriosis cases was primarily attributed to an increase in food-related cases. Genotyping of isolates was essential for identifying the likely cause of infection for individuals. However, a more rapid and cheaper typing tool for Campylobacter is needed, which if applied to human and animal isolates on a routine basis could advance greatly our understanding of the ongoing problem of Campylobacter infection in New Zealand.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr B. J. Gilpin, PO Box 29-181, Christchurch, New Zealand. (Email: Brent.gilpin@esr.cri.nz)
References
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