Epidemiology of Campylobacter enteritis

Int J Food Microbiol. 1991 Jan;12(1):9-16. doi: 10.1016/0168-1605(91)90044-p.


Campylobacter enteritis is the commonest form of infective diarrhoea in most developed countries of the world. In England and Wales laboratory reports indicate an annual incidence of about 85/100,000, but the true rate is probably nearer 1100/100,000. Measured costs run to many millions of pounds per year. Most infections are sporadic and believed to be foodborne; large outbreaks are infrequent and mostly due to the consumption of raw milk or unchlorinated water. Raw meats and animal products, notably broiler chickens, are the main source of campylobacters in food. A case-control study in the U.S.A., where eating habits are similar to those in Europe, attributed about one-half of human Campylobacter infections to the consumption of chickens. The production of Campylobacter-free chickens is not yet practicable, but considerable progress could be made to this end with sufficient motivation and resources from government and the poultry industry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Campylobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Campylobacter Infections / prevention & control
  • Campylobacter Infections / transmission
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Enteritis / epidemiology*
  • Enteritis / prevention & control
  • Food Microbiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Meat
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Poultry / microbiology
  • Seasons
  • Water Microbiology