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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2014 Feb;11(2):150-5. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2013.1610. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Molecular epidemiology of Campylobacter jejuni human and chicken isolates from two health units.

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1 Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph , Guelph, Ontario, Canada .


A study was conducted over a 2-year period in the Perth District and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph health units in Ontario, with an objective of using comparative genomic fingerprinting (CGF) with a 40-gene assay (CGF40) to investigate the association between human cases of campylobacteriosis and spatially and temporally related Campylobacter isolates from retail chicken. CGF results were available for isolates from 115 human cases and 718 retail chicken samples. These data were combined with CGF results from a large reference database of Campylobacter isolates. Isolates were categorized into types based on >90% CGF40 fingerprint similarity (CGF-90%). CGF-90% types were categorized as chicken associated (CA90) when the proportion of animal isolates in the given type that originated from chicken was at least 80% and was statistically significant. Risk factor data were collected from cases by questionnaire. Urban cases were significantly more likely than rural cases to be CA90 and there were significantly fewer CA90 cases in the second year of the study. Due to the population distribution in Canada and most industrialized countries, the majority of campylobacteriosis cases are urban dwellers. Therefore, the association between urban cases and chicken-associated types of Campylobacter emphasizes the importance of educational and food safety efforts to reduce the impact of Campylobacter from retail chicken on public health. Sources other than chicken may be more important for rural dwellers.

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