Effects of Climate on Incidence of Campylobacter spp. in Humans and Prevalence in Broiler Flocks in Denmark

Mary Evans Patrick, Lasse Engbo Christiansen, Michael Wainø, Steen Ethelberg, Henrik Madsen, Henrik Caspar Wegener

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Campylobacter infections are increasing and pose a serious public health problem in Denmark. Infections in humans and broiler flocks show similar seasonality, suggesting that climate may play a role in infection. We examined the effects of temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, and hours of sunlight on Campylobacter incidence in humans and broiler flocks by using lag dependence functions, locally fitted linear models, and cross validation methods. For humans, the best model included average temperature and sunlight 4 weeks prior to infection; the maximum temperature lagged at 4 weeks was the best single predictor. For broilers, the average and maximum temperatures 3 weeks prior to slaughter gave the best estimate; the average temperature lagged at 3 weeks was the best single predictor. The combined effects of temperature and sunlight or the combined effects of temperature and relative humidity predicted the incidence in humans equally well. For broiler flock incidence these factors explained considerably less. Future research should focus on elements within the broiler environment that may be affected by climate, as well as the interaction of microclimatic factors on and around broiler farms. There is a need to quantify the contribution of broilers as a source of campylobacteriosis in humans and to further examine the effect of temperature on human incidence after this contribution is accounted for. Investigations should be conducted into food consumption and preparation practices and poultry sales that may vary by season.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume70
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)7474-7480
ISSN0099-2240
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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