An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Sources and Risk Factors for Campylobacter in Poultry and Impact on Human Disease in a Closed System

Stern, Norman
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
End date
The overall goal of this project is to determine those points throughout production to consumption which offer the greatest opportunity for effective control of human campylobacteriosis in Iceland.
More information
Assess presence and, as appropriate, the levels of Campylobacter in Icelandic samples that pertain to poultry operations. Employ cultural microbiological methods for detection of levels and carriage of low levels of the organism. Use PCR methods as appropriate for detecting characteristic amplicons in samples where the organism may be dead. Use data gathered from questionnaires to obtain relevant epidemiological data. Create a risk assessment model describing transmission from environmental sources, through poultry production and processing, to humans.

Isolate and enumerate Campylobacters from wild bird feces, breeder and broiler bird intestinal materials, and from processed carcasses and from humans. Characterize the isolates and amplicons using flaA SVR DNA sequences to create dendogram analysis. Employ epidemiological data together with the above data to create a risk assessment model to identify critical sources and circumstances relating to transmission.

Campylobacter is a significant public health burden. Reportable disease surveillance and studies conducted by the CDC and other international authorities list Campylobacter as the most frequent bacterial cause of acute food borne disease in most industrialized countries. In addition to the severe acute illness, sustained personal illness, occupational illness, and/or a genetic predisposition may lead to chronic syndromes. Evidence points to poultry as the primary source of the organism for human illness. The organism has a unique ecology and has not been controlled, nor eliminated by management practices implemented for other pathogens, specifically Salmonella in poultry. The proposed study endeavours to investigate the sources for transmission of Campylobacter spp. in a well defined and closed poultry production system, and relatively closed human population in Iceland. The objectives of the work are to investigate the risk factors for transmission of Campylobacter spp. in poultry, and to humans, utilizing multi disciplinary international expertise. Molecular and advanced epidemiological techniques will be used to track strain of Campylobacter and identify their sources, that predominate in human illness. The information collected will be used to develop models that can be used to identify opportunities for intervention throughout the poultry production to consumption continuum.

Project number
Accession number
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication