The objective of this study was to examine incidences of Campylobacter in broilers and humans, and to describe seasonal variation and long-term trends by comparing longitudinal surveillance data in six Northern European countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands). Due to high degree of seasonality and autocorrelation, seasonally adjusted (de-seasonalized) and trend adjusted data (detrended) were used for comparing incidences within and between the six countries. Deseasonalized time series were obtained by fitting the incidence time series to mean monthly temperature and then removing this effect from the data. Long-term trends were fitted to the de-seasonalized time series. The incidence of Campylobacter colonization in broiler flocks and incidence of campylobacteriosis in humans showed a concordant seasonality for all the countries. There was a strong association between the incidence in both broilers and humans in a given month and the mean temperature of the northern hemisphere in the same month, as well as the preceding month, as shown by the cross-correlations and the chosen Generalized Additive Model. Denmark and Sweden showed a steadily decreasing trend for Campylobacter in broilers and human campylobacteriosis in the period 2001-2007. In Iceland, there was a decreasing trend for campylobacteriosis in humans from 1999 to 2007, whilst the broiler trend for Campylobacter was stable from 2001 to 2004, then falling thereafter. In Norway, the human campylobacteriosis trend showed a steady increase throughout the period. On the other hand, the Norwegian broiler trend for Campylobacter showed a decrease from 2001 until 2004, but was thereafter stable. There was no significant decrease or increase in incidence for human campylobacteriosis in the Netherlands, and the trend for Campylobacter in broilers was close to stable. The seasonality seen in broiler and human closely follows the temperature, and was probably caused, at least partly, by temperature related factors.
- Time series