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Epidemiol Infect. 2003 Feb;130(1):23-32.

Campylobacter spp. in Icelandic poultry operations and human disease.

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USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Poultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, 950 College Station Rd., Athens, GA 30604-5677, USA.


We describe the observed relationship of campylobacter in poultry operations to human cases in a closed environment. During 1999 in Iceland, domestic cases of campylobacteriosis reached peak levels at 116/100,000 and in 2000 dropped to 33/100,000. Approximately 62% of broiler carcass rinses were contaminated with Campylobacter spp. in 1999. During 2000, only 15% of the broiler flocks tested Campylobacter spp. positive. In 2000, carcasses from flocks which tested positive on the farms at 4 weeks of age were subsequently frozen prior to distribution. We suggest that public education, enhanced on-farm biological security measures, carcass freezing and other unidentified factors, such as variations in weather, contributed to the large reduction in poultry-borne campylobacteriosis. There is no immediate basis for assigning credit to any specific intervention. We continue to seek additional information to understand the decline in campylobacteriosis and to create a risk assessment model for Campylobacter spp. transmission through this well defined system.

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