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Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Apr 15;38 Suppl 3:S285-96.

Risk factors for sporadic Campylobacter infection in the United States: A case-control study in FoodNet sites.

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  • 1Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Campylobacter is a common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States. We conducted a population-based case-control study to determine risk factors for sporadic Campylobacter infection. During a 12-month study, we enrolled 1316 patients with culture-confirmed Campylobacter infections from 7 states, collecting demographic, clinical, and exposure data using a standardized questionnaire. We interviewed 1 matched control subject for each case patient. Thirteen percent of patients had traveled abroad. In multivariate analysis of persons who had not traveled, the largest population attributable fraction (PAF) of 24% was related to consumption of chicken prepared at a restaurant. The PAF for consumption of nonpoultry meat that was prepared at a restaurant was also large (21%); smaller proportions of illness were associated with other food and nonfood exposures. Efforts to reduce contamination of poultry with Campylobacter should benefit public health. Restaurants should improve food-handling practices, ensure adequate cooking of meat and poultry, and consider purchasing poultry that has been treated to reduce Campylobacter contamination.

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