Journal of Hygiene

Research Article

Epidemiological aspects of Campylobacter jejuni enteritis

G. Norkransa1 and Å. Svedhema1*

a1 Department of Infectious Diseases and Department of Clinical Bacteriology, Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden


An epidemiological study on Campylobacter jejuni enterocolitis was performed in an urban Swedish community. The study included 55 patients gathered during a six-month period. Forty-one of the 55 patients (75%) were infected outside Sweden. Campylobacter enterocolitis was rare among children within the country. Patients infected in Sweden had eaten chicken significantly more often than a corresponding control group. Seven out of nine chicken consuming campylobacter patients also had prepared the fresh chicken alone, and none of their family members became ill. Thus the preparation of food contaminated with Campylobacter seems to elevate the risk for contracting the disease. Sick household pets transmitted the campylobacter infection to two patients. Forty-six of the patients had a total of 85 close household members. Three definite secondary cases were found. There was no evidence of transmission of Campylobacter by food prepared by two cooks who were working while still being asymptomatic excreters. Clinical reinfection with Campylobacter was observed in one patient. No patients became long-term carriers of Campylobacter.

(Received December 15 1981)

(Accepted February 19 1982)


* Address for reprints.