This research project aims to test the hypothesis whether private water supplies are a risk factor for Campylobacter infection in humans.
Detailed analysis of data arising from the Scottish component of an UK wide study to describe human campylobacter infection was recently undertaken (S01017). This analysis showed that the majority of risk factors were the same in Scotland compared to the whole of the UK. However, the data highlighted that although only 1.6% of the Scottish population is served by a private water supply, 8% of cases of campylobacter infection in Lothian reported consuming water from a private supply. Therefore this study aims to identify if private water supplies are a risk factor for campylobacter infection and whether they play a role in the seasonality of campylobacter infection.
Research Approach:<BR> A case-control study will be undertaken in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire to test the hypothesis whether private water supplies are a risk factor for Campylobacter infection in humans. Aberdeenshire has the highest rate (13.1%) in Scotland of people being served by a private water supply. It is also within the Grampian Health Board area, which has one of the highest rates of human campylobacter infection in Scotland. In addition to the case-control study, drinking water samples will be collected from the households of consenting cases and controls and tested for general water quality, campylobacter and E. coli O157. Information will also be sought on the type of water supply serving the household and factors such as the presence of any livestock on surrounding land.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.