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Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Mar;11(3):361-4.

Fly transmission of Campylobacter.

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Environmental and Enteric Diseases Department, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, 61 Colindale Ave., London NW9 5EQ, UK.


An annual increase in Campylobacter infection in England and Wales begins in May and reaches a maximum in early June. This increase occurs in all age groups and is seen in all geographic areas. Examination of risk factors that might explain this seasonal increase identifies flies as a potential source of infection. The observed pattern of infection is hypothesized to reflect an annual epidemic caused by direct or indirect contamination of people by small quantities of infected material carried by flies that have been in contact with feces. The local pattern of human illness appears random, while having a defined geographic and temporal distribution that is a function of the growth kinetics of one or more fly species. The hypothesis provides an explanation for the seasonal distribution of Campylobacter infections seen around the world.

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