Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Epidemiological study on risk factors and risk reducing measures for Campylobacter infections in Dutch broiler flocks

A. W. van de Giessena1, B. P. M. Bloemberga2, W. S. Ritmeestera1 and J. J. H. C. Tilburga1

a1 Laboratory for Water and Food Microbiology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

a2 Department of Chronic Diseases and Environmental Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Abstract

From September 1991 until August 1993 an epidemiological study involving 20 Dutch broiler farms was conducted to identify risk factors and risk reducing measures for Campylobacter infections in broiler flocks. Campylobacter spp. were detected in 64 (57%) of the 112 broiler flocks and in 25 (63%) of the 40 broiler cycles examined. Univariate analysis of farm management data was performed followed by logistic regression analysis of selected risk and risk reducing factors. The presence of other farm animals, including pigs, cattle, sheep and fowl, other than broilers, was found to be independently associated with an increased risk of Campylobacter infections in broiler flocks (odds ratio (OR) = 1181; P = 0041). Further, the results indicate that application of specific hygiene measures during the rearing period, such as washing hands before tending the broiler flocks, the use of separate boots for each broiler house and the use of footbath disinfection when entering a broiler house, may significantly reduce the risk of Campylobacter infections in broiler flocks.

(Accepted May 17 1996)

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