The project seeks to determine if there are any significant similarities between the campylobacters routinely found in foodstuffs, and those causing human disease in Belfast, Dublin and Galway. This project has also been extended to include an examination of the role of companion animals in the transmission of this infectious agent.
Progress: A total of 2415 foodstuff samples were collected in the three cities and despatched to Dublin and analysed at UCD. During the sampling period of March 2001-December 2002, 652 samples were sent from Belfast. Overall 28.8% carried campylobacters and pure cultures were sent to Galway for genotyping by PFGE and flaA typing. In addition 242 human isolates were obtained from Belfast and Dublin hospitals and sent to Galway for genotyping.
Approximately 600 isolates in total will be typed using AFLP by a post-graduate student at Food Microbiology Branch, Newforge Lane. To date about 300 isolates have been received and analysed. Data is being entered into a database and analysed using BioNumerics software and ultimately all data will be consolidated on a single BioNumerics database in UCD Dublin for final analysis.