Risk factors for the presence of Campylobacter spp. in Dutch broiler flocks

M. Bouwknegt, A. W. Van De Giessen, W. D.C. Dam-Deisz, A. H. Havelaar, N. J.D. Nagelkerke, A. M. Henken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The campylobacter status of 495 broiler flocks sampled in The Netherlands between April 1997 and December 2000 was related to farm- and flock-specific information obtained from questionnaires to identify potential risk factors for campylobacter presence. Approximately 30% of the flocks tested positive for Campylobacter spp. in at least one pooled faecal sample. Multivariable logistic regression showed significant risk increments for: ages 29-35 days (OR=2.34) and 36-42 days (OR=3.96) compared to 22-28 days; ≥5 broiler houses on the premises (OR=3.02); the presence of other farm animals on the farm (OR=1.88); the presence of animals on farms within 1km (OR=9.56); and summer (OR=3.48) and fall (OR=2.59) compared to winter. Furthermore, hatcheries differed (ORs from 5.42 to 20.2), although this variable showed strong collinearity with the variables explaining feed mill and integrated poultry operations. We also identified interaction in which an increased risk from children entering the broiler house (OR=28.0) was diminished by the use of broiler-specific workclothes. Population attributable fractions (PAFs) suggested that animals on farms within 1km (PAF=0.76) and hatchery (PAF=0.67) had the highest impacts on campylobacter presence in Dutch broiler flocks. These factors, however, lack an easy interpretation of the mechanism behind the suggested effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages15
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Broiler flocks
  • Campylobacter spp.
  • Population attributable fractions
  • Risk factors
  • The Netherlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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