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BMJ Open. 2018 Dec 22;8(12):e026630. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026630.

Investigating locally relevant risk factors for Campylobacter infection in Australia: protocol for a case-control study and genomic analysis.

Author information

Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia.
Communicable Diseases Branch, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Hunter New England Population Health, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
College of Health and Medicine, Melbourne Bioinformatics, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, The Peter Doherty Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



The CampySource project aims to identify risk factors for human Campylobacter infection in Australia. We will investigate locally relevant risk factors and those significant in international studies in a case-control study. Case isolates and contemporaneous isolates from food and animal sources will be sequenced to conduct source attribution modelling, and findings will be combined with the case-control study in a source-assigned analysis.


The case-control study will include 1200 participants (600 cases and 600 controls) across three regions in Australia. Cases will be recruited from campylobacteriosis notifications to health departments. Only those with a pure and viable Campylobacter isolate will be eligible for selection to allow for whole genome sequencing of isolates. Controls will be recruited from notified cases of influenza, frequency matched by sex, age group and geographical area of residence. All participants will be interviewed by trained telephone interviewers using a piloted questionnaire.We will collect Campylobacter isolates from retail meats and companion animals (specifically dogs), and all food, animal and human isolates will undergo whole genome sequencing. We will use sequence data to estimate the proportion of human infections that can be attributed to animal and food reservoirs (source attribution modelling), and to identify spatial clusters and temporal trends. Source-assigned analysis of the case-control study data will also be conducted where cases are grouped according to attributed sources.


Human and animal ethics have been approved. Genomic data will be published in online archives accompanied by basic metadata. We anticipate several publications to come from this study.


epidemiology; gastrointestinal infections; public health

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