Campylobacter: Breaking the spiral of infection
Brown, Helen Louise
Van Vliet, Arnoud
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Campylobacter jejuni is an excellent example of a zoonotic pathogen, but for many years it was arguably the least known of the common bacterial food pathogens. Those of us who grew up in the UK in the late 1980s may remember the injustice of no longer being allowed to eat uncooked cake mix, due to the risk of Salmonella infection. More recently, many will recall headlines about the 2011 German Escherichia coli outbreak. Campylobacter very rarely makes the national headlines, although the number of Campylobacter cases have remained relatively steady over the last few decades, with an estimated annual incidence of ~280,000 UK cases. In 2012, the BBC Face the Facts programme asked the public to name bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Not surprisingly, many people mentioned Salmonella and E. coli, some people even named Listeria, but Campylobacter was the great unknown. However, that picture is changing rapidly and in the past year the public profile of Campylobacter has been raised significantly, mainly due to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) publishing data on the percentage of Campylobacter-positive meat samples from retail sources. While insiders were not surprised by the levels of Campylobacter reported (64–79% of chicken meat was positive), the numbers were widely publicised, putting pressure on the poultry sector and retailers to address the problem.
Brown, H.L. and Van Vlier, A. (2015) 'Campylobacter: Breaking the spiral of infection', Microbiology Today.
Article published in Microbiology Today on 05 November 2015 (online), available open access at: https://microbiologysociety.org/publication/past-issues/zoonotic-diseases/article/i-campylobacter-i-breaking-the-spiral-of-infection.html.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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