Category Archives: Campylobacter

USA- Decreased Incidence of Infections Caused by Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. Sites, 2017–2020



What is already known about this topic?

Before 2020, the incidence of infections transmitted commonly by food had not declined for many years.

What is added by this report?

During 2020, FoodNet identified 26% fewer infections compared with the average annual number during 2017–2019, including decreased infections associated with international travel.

What are the implications for public health practice?

The pandemic and resulting public health response present challenges to explaining changes in observed foodborne illness incidences. Continued surveillance might help elucidate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on foodborne illness and identify strategies to decrease illnesses. Concerted efforts are needed to reduce the incidence of these infections from farm to processing plant to restaurants and homes. Consumers can reduce their risk of foodborne illness by following safe food-handling and preparation recommendations.

Foodborne illnesses are a substantial and largely preventable public health problem; before 2020 the incidence of most infections transmitted commonly through food had not declined for many years. To evaluate progress toward prevention of foodborne illnesses in the United States, the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) of CDC’s Emerging Infections Program monitors the incidence of laboratory-diagnosed infections caused by eight pathogens transmitted commonly through food reported by 10 U.S. sites.* FoodNet is a collaboration among CDC, 10 state health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), and the Food and Drug Administration. This report summarizes preliminary 2020 data and describes changes in incidence with those during 2017–2019. During 2020, observed incidences of infections caused by enteric pathogens decreased 26% compared with 2017–2019; infections associated with international travel decreased markedly. The extent to which these reductions reflect actual decreases in illness or decreases in case detection is unknown. On March 13, 2020, the United States declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the declaration, state and local officials implemented stay-at-home orders, restaurant closures, school and child care center closures, and other public health interventions to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). Federal travel restrictions were declared (1). These widespread interventions as well as other changes to daily life and hygiene behaviors, including increased handwashing, have likely changed exposures to foodborne pathogens. Other factors, such as changes in health care delivery, health care–seeking behaviors, and laboratory testing practices, might have decreased the detection of enteric infections. As the pandemic continues, surveillance of illness combined with data from other sources might help to elucidate the factors that led to the large changes in 2020; this understanding could lead to improved strategies to prevent illness. To reduce the incidence of these infections concerted efforts are needed, from farm to processing plant to restaurants and homes. Consumers can reduce their risk of foodborne illness by following safe food-handling and preparation recommendations.

FoodNet conducts active, population-based surveillance of laboratory-diagnosed infections caused by Campylobacter, Cyclospora, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia reported from 10 sites covering approximately 15% of the U.S. population (approximately 50 million persons per U.S. Census Bureau estimates in 2019). Bacterial infections are defined as isolation of bacteria from a clinical specimen by culture or detection of pathogen antigen, nucleic acid sequence, or, for STEC, Shiga toxin or Shiga toxin genes by a culture-independent diagnostic test (CIDT).§ Listeria infections are defined as isolation of L. monocytogenes or detection of its nucleic acid sequences from a normally sterile site, or from placental or fetal tissue in the instance of miscarriage or stillbirth. Cyclospora infections are defined as detection of the parasite using ultraviolet fluorescence microscopy, specific stains, or polymerase chain reaction.

In this analysis, patients with no history of international travel or unknown travel were considered to have domestically acquired infection. Death was attributed to infection when it occurred during hospitalization or within 7 days after specimen collection for non-hospitalized patients. Incidence (cases per 100,000 population) was calculated by dividing the number of infections in 2020 by the U.S. Census estimates of the surveillance area population for 2019. Incidence measures included all laboratory-diagnosed infections. A negative binomial model with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was used to estimate change in incidence during 2020 compared with those during 2017–2019, adjusting for changes in the population over time.

Surveillance for physician-diagnosed post-diarrheal hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of STEC infection characterized by renal failure, thrombocytopenia, and microangiopathic anemia, was conducted through a network of nephrologists and infection preventionists and by hospital discharge data review. This report includes HUS data for children aged <18 years for 2019, the most recent year for which data are available. FoodNet surveillance activities were reviewed by CDC and were conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy.**

During 2020, FoodNet identified 18,462 cases of infection, 4,788 hospitalizations, and 118 deaths (Table). The overall incidence was highest for Campylobacter (14.4 per 100,000 population), followed by Salmonella (13.3), STEC (3.6), Shigella (3.1), Yersinia (0.9), Vibrio (0.7), Cyclospora (0.6), and Listeria (0.2). During 2020, 26% fewer infections were reported compared with the average annual number reported during 2017–2019; the incidence in 2020 was significantly lower for all pathogens except Yersinia and Cyclospora. The percentage of infections resulting in hospitalization increased 2% compared with 2017–2019 (Figure 1). During 2020, 5% (958) of infections were associated with international travel compared with 14% during 2017–2019. In 2020, most (798; 83%) of these infections occurred during January–March.

Overall, 59% of bacterial infections were diagnosed using a CIDT (range = 14% [Listeria] to 100% [STEC]); this was a 2% increase from 2017−2019. The percentage diagnosed using only a CIDT (i.e., including specimens with negative cultures and those not cultured) was 1% higher during 2020 than the percentage during 2017−2019. Among specimens with a positive CIDT result during 2020, a reflex culture†† was performed for 73%, which was 2% lower than during 2017–2019. Reflex cultures decreased for Vibrio (by 15%), Yersinia (7%), Campylobacter (5%), and STEC (2%); increased for Salmonella (2%), and Shigella (2%); and did not change for Listeria.

Among 5,336 (91%) fully serotyped Salmonella isolates in 2020, the seven most common serotypes were Enteritidis (1.6 per 100,000 population), Newport (1.5), Javiana (1.0), Typhimurium (0.9), I 4,[5],12:i:- (0.5), Hadar (0.4), and Infantis (0.3). Compared with 2017–2019, incidence during 2020 was significantly lower for I 4,[5],12:i:- (48% lower), Typhimurium (37% lower), Enteritidis (36% lower), and Javiana (31% lower). Incidence was significantly higher for Hadar (617% higher; 95% CI = 382–967) and did not change significantly for Newport or Infantis. Most (73%) of the 631 outbreak-associated Salmonella infections during 2020 were caused by three serotypes: Newport (220; 35%), Hadar (135; 21%), and Enteritidis (108; 17%). All outbreak-associated Hadar infections were from one multistate outbreak linked to contact with backyard poultry; 47 (35%) illnesses resulted in hospitalization. Four serogroups accounted for 63% of the 955 culture-positive STEC isolates. Serogroup O157 was most common (264; 28%), followed by O26 (148; 15%), O103 (115; 12%), and O111 (78; 8%).

FoodNet identified 63 cases of post-diarrheal HUS in children aged <18 years (0.6 cases per 100,000 population) during 2019; 55 (87%) had evidence of STEC infection and 41 (65%) were in children aged <5 years (1.4 per 100,000 population). These rates were similar to those during 2016–2018.



SACRAMENTO, September 22, 2021 – Raw cow milk produced and packaged by Valley Milk Simply Bottled of Stanislaus County is the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones.  The quarantine order came following the confirmed detection of the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni in the farm’s packaged raw whole cow milk sampled and tested by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The raw cow milk is distributed in one-gallon (128 oz) and half-gallon (64 oz) plastic jugs with brown colored bottle caps and labeled as “Valley Milk Simply Bottled Raw Milk” or “DESI MILK Raw Milk”. The recall order applies to products marked on the container with expiration code dates of SEP 26 2021 through OCT 03 2021.

Consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators, and retailers are to pull the product immediately from their shelves.  Products from the firm marked with other expiration code dates or with bottle caps of a different color than brown are not subject to the recall order.

CDFA found the campylobacter bacteria in a routine sample collected at the Valley Milk Simply Bottled production and packaging facility.  No illnesses have been reported.

Research – Germany reveals insights from enlarged Campylobacter surveillance

Food Safety News

German experts have presented results so far from increased surveillance of Campylobacter infections.

In Germany, around 60,000 cases are reported every year. Mainly contaminated food of animal origin are identified or suspected as sources of infection.

Intensified molecular surveillance of Campylobacter from human infections at the National Reference Center (NRZ) for Salmonella and other Bacterial Enteric Pathogens at the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) was set up in 2019.

In 2020, the NRZ received 1,299 Campylobacter isolates from human infections for surveillance and subtyping. There were 55,831 reported cases in the same year. More than 25 different laboratories contributed a diverse range of isolates. More than 80 percent were Campylobacter jejuni and 15 percent Campylobacter coli.

Research – A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Pre-Harvest Meat Safety Interventions in Pig Herds to Control Salmonella and Other Foodborne Pathogens



This systematic review aimed to assess the effectiveness of pre-harvest interventions to control the main foodborne pathogens in pork in the European Union. A total of 1180 studies were retrieved from PubMed® and Web of Science for 15 pathogens identified as relevant in EFSA’s scientific opinion on the public health hazards related to pork (2011). The study selection focused on controlled studies where a cause–effect could be attributed to the interventions tested, and their effectiveness could be inferred. Altogether, 52 studies published from 1983 to 2020 regarding Campylobacter spp., Clostridium perfringens, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusMycobacterium avium, and Salmonella spp. were retained and analysed. Research was mostly focused on Salmonella (n = 43 studies). In-feed and/or water treatments, and vaccination were the most tested interventions and were, overall, successful. However, the previously agreed criteria for this systematic review excluded other effective interventions to control Salmonella and other pathogens, like Yersinia enterocolitica, which is one of the most relevant biological hazards in pork. Examples of such successful interventions are the Specific Pathogen Free herd principle, stamping out and repopulating with disease-free animals. Research on other pathogens (i.e., Hepatitis E, Trichinella spiralis and Toxoplasma gondii) was scarce, with publications focusing on epidemiology, risk factors and/or observational studies. Overall, high herd health coupled with good management and biosecurity were effective to control or prevent most foodborne pathogens in pork at the pre-harvest level. View Full-Text

USA – State orders another recall of raw milk sold from dairy farm west of Modesto -Campylobacter


Campylobacter kswfoodworld

The state has ordered a recall of raw goat milk sold from a dairy farm west of Modesto.

Routing sampling found campylobacter jejuni bacteria, but no illnesses have been reported, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Monday.

The product came from Valley Milk Simply Bottled, a small operation along Maze Boulevard west of Hart Road. The same farm has had two recalls of cow milk because of the same bacteria since 2019, again with no illnesses reported.

Sweden – Campylobacter (Sweden, August 2021-)



In recent weeks, the number of people who have contracted campylobacter infection has been higher than in previous weeks. The increase has been seen throughout the country and in all age groups. The period has been preceded by an increased proportion of broiler flocks carried on campylobacter (Swedish Veterinary Institute (SVA). Previous studies have shown that cases of disease are often linked to raw chicken meat, which makes it likely that increased prevalence of campylobacter in chicken flocks is the cause. In the next few weeks, the Swedish Public Health Agency will collect samples from the disease cases for analysis and typing as part of the microbiological monitoring program in order to identify the presence of common sources of infection.

Figure. The number of reported cases of campylobacter infection per week during 2021 to week 33 (until 2021-08-23, week 33 is incomplete) and for the years 2018-2020, for cases infected in Sweden and cases with unknown country of infection.

The graph shows the number of reported cases per week in 2021 that are stacked.  During weeks 29-33, the number of cases has been higher than before with 150-200 cases, earlier this year the number of cases was below 50 to up to 100 cases a week.  The pattern follows previous years, 2018-2020 with more cases during the late summer, these years are shown as lines in the graph.

Research – Antimicrobial Efficacy and Spectrum of Phosphorous-Fluorine Co-Doped TiO2 Nanoparticles on the Foodborne Pathogenic Bacteria Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella Typhimurium, Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Shewanella putrefaciens, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus


Contamination of meats and meat products with foodborne pathogenic bacteria raises serious safety issues in the food industry. The antibacterial activities of phosphorous-fluorine co-doped TiO2 nanoparticles (PF-TiO2) were investigated against seven foodborne pathogenic bacteria: Campylobacter jejuniSalmonella Typhimurium, Enterohaemorrhagic E. coliYersinia enterocoliticaShewanella putrefaciensListeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. PF-TiO2 NPs were synthesized hydrothermally at 250 °C for 1, 3, 6 or 12 h, and then tested at three different concentrations (500 μg/mL, 100 μg/mL, 20 μg/mL) for the inactivation of foodborne bacteria under UVA irradiation, daylight exposure or dark conditions. The antibacterial efficacies were compared after 30 min of exposure to light. Distinct differences in the antibacterial activities of the PF-TiO2 NPs, and the susceptibilities of tested foodborne pathogenic bacterium species were found. PF-TiO2/3 h and PF-TiO2/6 h showed the highest antibacterial activity by decreasing the living bacterial cell number from ~106 by ~5 log (L. monocytogenes), ~4 log (EHEC), ~3 log (Y. enterolcolitcaS. putrefaciens) and ~2.5 log (S. aureus), along with complete eradication of C. jejuni and S. Typhimurium. Efficacy of PF-TiO2/1 h and PF-TiO2/12 h NPs was lower, typically causing a ~2–4 log decrease in colony forming units depending on the tested bacterium while the effect of PF-TiO2/0 h was comparable to P25 TiO2, a commercial TiO2 with high photocatalytic activity. Our results show that PF-co-doping of TiO2 NPs enhanced the antibacterial action against foodborne pathogenic bacteria and are potential candidates for use in the food industry as active surface components, potentially contributing to the production of meats that are safe for consumption. View Full-Text

Australia Research – Monitoring the incidence and causes of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia: Annual report of the OzFoodNet network, 2013–2015

Au Gov

This report summarises the incidence of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia, and details outbreaks associated with food that occurred during 2013–2015.
OzFoodNet sites reported an increasing number of notifications of 12 diseases or conditions that may be transmitted by food (botulism; campylobacteriosis; cholera; hepatitis A; hepatitis E; haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS); listeriosis; Salmonella Paratyphi (paratyphoid fever) infection; salmonellosis; shigellosis; Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli(STEC) infection; and Salmonella Typhi (typhoid fever) infection), with a total of 28,676 notifications received in 2013; 37,958 in 2014; and 41,226 in 2015.
The most commonly-notified conditions were campylobacteriosis (a mean of 19,061 notifications per year over 2013–2015) and salmonellosis (a mean of 15,336 notifications per year over 2013–2015). Over these three years, OzFoodNet sites also reported 512 outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness caused by foodborne, animal-to-person or waterborne disease, affecting 7,877 people, and resulting in 735 hospitalisations and 18 associated deaths.
The majority of outbreaks (452/512; 88%) were due to foodborne or suspected foodborne transmission. The remaining 12% of outbreaks were due to waterborne or suspected waterborne transmission (57 outbreaks) and animal-to-human trans-mission (three outbreaks). Foodborne and suspected foodborne outbreaks affected 7,361 people, resulting in 705 hospitalisations and 18 deaths.
Salmonella was the most common aetiological agent identified in foodborne outbreaks (239/452; 53%), and restaurants were the most frequently-reported food preparation setting (211/452; 47%). There were 213 foodborne outbreaks (47%) attributed to a single food commodity during 2013–2015, with 58% (124/213) associated with the consumption of eggs and egg-based dishes.

UK – Report into the sources of human Campylobacter infection published


The Food Standards Agency has today published a study to further determine the principal sources of this foodborne disease.

A report published by the FSA confirms that chickens are the source of the majority of human cases of Campylobacter, followed by other animals such as sheep, pigs and cows. This infection may have been passed to people directly through food, but could also be via environmental and water contamination.

The Campylobacter Source Attribution Study, launched in 2015 as part of the FSA’s wider and ongoing Campylobacter Reduction Programme, also reveals an increase in antimicrobial resistance within Campylobacter strains between 1997 and 2018. Work is continuing in this area to determine the full impact.

FSA Head of science, evidence and research, Rick Mumford, said:

“We will use these findings to better understand the causes of Campylobacter infection, and to inform further work on foodborne transmission. This will also help to identify further research areas to explore as we seek to reduce the overall burden of Campylobacter infection in the UK.”

Around 300,000 human cases of Campylobacter are estimated to be acquired from food each year in the UK, out of a total of around 630,000 cases. Campylobacter lives in the intestinal tracts of a wide range of mammals, birds and even insects.

Researchers embarked on this project to determine the key reservoirs of human Campylobacter infections and help identify potentially effective risk management strategies. The project assessed patient samples from two locations – a representative urban site in North Tyneside and rural site in Oxfordshire – alongside foods sampled from retail in York, Salisbury and London.

With regards to antimicrobial resistance, the study revealed a rise in fluoroquinolone and tetracycline resistance in C.jejuni isolates from human infections between 1997 and 2018. Fluoroquinolone resistance was more frequent in C.jejuni isolates from  chicken than from other animals, whilst tetracycline resistance was more frequent in poultry and pig isolates than ruminants. Resistance to macrolides and aminoglycosides remain low.

The majority of people who are infected with Campylobacter recover fully and quickly, but it can cause long-term and severe health problems in some, including young children and the elderly.

You can help keep your family safe by cooking your food correctly, and avoiding cross-contamination through ensuring good personal hygiene.

Read the full report here. As part of the project, a data storyboard (Opens in a new window)was created and can be viewed online.


INFOSAN Research