Knowledge gaps in control of Campylobacter for prevention of campylobacteriosis

I. Hansson, M. Sandberg, I. Habib, R. Lowman, E. O. Engvall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Campylobacteriosis is an important, worldwide public health problem with numerous socio-economic impacts. Since 2015, approximately 230,000 cases have been reported annually in Europe. In the United States, Australia and New Zealand, campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported disease. Poultry and poultry products are considered important sources of human infections. Poultry meat can become contaminated with Campylobacter during slaughter if live chickens are intestinal carriers. Campylobacter spp. can be transferred from animals to humans through consumption and handling of contaminated food products, with fresh chicken meat being the most commonly implicated food type. Regarding food-borne disease, the most important Campylobacter species are Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. In humans, clinical signs of campylobacteriosis include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are sporadic and self-limiting, but there are post-infection complications, for example, Guillain-Barrés syndrome. This review summarizes an analysis undertaken by the DISCONTOOLS group of experts on campylobacteriosis. Gaps were identified in: (i) knowledge of true number of infected humans; (ii) mechanisms of pathogenicity to induce infection in humans; (iii) training to prevent transfer of Campylobacter from raw to ready-to-eat food; (iv) development of effective vaccines; (v) understanding transmission routes to broiler flocks; (vi) knowledge of bacteriocins, bacteriophages and antimicrobial peptides as preventive therapies; (vii) ration formulation as an effective preventive measure at a farm level; (viii) development of kits for rapid detection and quantification of Campylobacter in animals and food products; and (ix) development of more effective antimicrobials for treatment of humans infected with Campylobacter. Some of these gaps are relevant worldwide, whereas others are more related to problems encountered with Campylobacter in industrialized countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-48
Number of pages19
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Campylobacter
  • gap analysis
  • poultry
  • zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary


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