In all temperate countries campylobacter infection in humans follows a striking seasonal pattern, but little attention has been given to exploring the epidemiological explanations. In order to better characterize the seasonal patterns, data from nine European countries and New Zealand have been examined. Several European countries with weekly data available showed remarkably consistent seasonal patterns from year to year, with peaks in week 22 in Wales, week 26 in Scotland, week 32 in Denmark, week 30 in Finland and week 33 in Sweden. In Europe, the seasonal peak was most prominent in Finland and least prominent in Scotland and Austria. In New Zealand the seasonality was less consistent since the peak was more prolonged. Possible explanations for the seasonal peaks are discussed. Research into the causes of campylobacter seasonality should help considerably in elucidating the sources of human infection.
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