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Am J Epidemiol. 1985 Nov;122(5):884-9.

Epidemiologic and laboratory investigation of an outbreak of Campylobacter enteritis associated with raw milk.


An outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred in March-April 1981, in Wichita, Kansas, and involved more than 250 persons who drank raw milk from a single local dairy. Campylobacter jejuni was recovered from 60 of 116 (52%) persons in households that had one or more ill family members. A cohort study of families that belonged to a food cooperative that purchased raw milk from the implicated dairy showed a significant association between illness and having drunk raw milk. Thirty-nine of 55 (71%) persons who drank raw milk became ill compared with four of 36 (11%) persons who did not drink raw milk (p less than 0.01, t test, accounting for clustering). Peak (convalescent) antibody titers to C. jejuni, determined by indirect immunofluorescence, in 20 raw-milk drinkers showed a geometric mean of 1:27 in contrast to geometric mean titer of 1:6 in 10 well persons from the cohort who did not drink raw milk (p less than 0.002, t test). C. jejuni was recovered from 21 of 34 (66%) raw-milk drinkers, versus none of 26 people who did not drink raw milk (p less than 0.001, Fisher's exact test, one tailed). C. jejuni of the same serotype was isolated from the case-patients and from rectal swabs of cows in the dairy. These findings indicate that raw milk contaminated by Campylobacter was the vehicle for this outbreak.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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