Seasonal peaks in both human campylobacter infections and poultry isolates have been observed in several European countries but remain unexplained. We compared weekly data on human campylobacter infections with thermophilic Campylobacter isolation rates from fresh, retail chicken samples (n=514) purchased weekly in Wales between January and December 2002. Human isolates (n=2631) peaked between weeks 22 and 25 (early June) and chicken isolates (n=364) between weeks 24 and 26 (late June). In the absence of a temporal association, we postulate that the seasonal rise in humans is not caused by a rise in isolation rates in poultry but that both are more likely to be associated with a common, but as yet unidentified, environmental source.
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