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Campylobacteriosis associated with the consumption of unpasteurised milk: findings from a sentinel surveillance site

  • G. Davys (a1), J. C. Marshall (a2) (a3), A. Fayaz (a3), R. P. Weir (a4) and J. Benschop (a3)...

Abstract

Campylobacteriosis is the most common notifiable disease in New Zealand. While the risk of campylobacteriosis has been found to be strongly associated with the consumption of undercooked poultry, other risk factors include rainwater-sourced drinking water, contact with animals and consumption of raw dairy products. Despite this, there has been little investigation of raw milk as a risk factor for campylobacteriosis. Recent increases in demand for untreated or ‘raw’ milk have also raised concerns that this exposure may become a more important source of disease in the future. This study describes the cases of notified campylobacteriosis from a sentinel surveillance site. Previously collected data from notified cases of raw milk-associated campylobacteriosis were examined and compared with campylobacteriosis cases who did not report raw milk consumption. Raw milk campylobacteriosis cases differed from non-raw milk cases on comparison of age and occupation demographics, with raw milk cases more likely to be younger and categorised as children or students for occupation. Raw milk cases were more likely to be associated with outbreaks than non-raw milk cases. Study-suggested motivations for raw milk consumption (health reasons, natural product, produced on farm, inexpensive or to support locals) were not strongly supported by cases. More information about the raw milk consumption habits of New Zealanders would be helpful to better understand the risks of this disease, especially with respect to increased disease risk observed in younger people. Further discussion with raw milk consumers around their motivations may also be useful to find common ground between public health concerns and consumer preferences as efforts continue to manage this ongoing public health issue.

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Copyright

Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Genevieve Davys, E-mail: genevievedb@gmail.com

References

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Keywords

Campylobacteriosis associated with the consumption of unpasteurised milk: findings from a sentinel surveillance site

  • G. Davys (a1), J. C. Marshall (a2) (a3), A. Fayaz (a3), R. P. Weir (a4) and J. Benschop (a3)...

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