Elucidating the Aetiology of Human Campylobacter coli Infections

Francois Roux, Emma Sproston, Ovidiu Rotariu, Marion MacRae, Samuel K. Sheppard, Paul Bessell, Alison Smith-Palmer, John Cowden, Martin C.J. Maiden, Ken J. Forbes, Norval J.C. Strachan

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37 Citations (SciVal)


There has been little research on the determinants of Campylobacter coli infection, despite its contributing up to 10% of human Campylobacter infections. A case-control and two case-case study methods explored the aetiology of C. coli over a one year period across Scotland. The case-control multivariate model found an increased risk of C. coli infection in people older than 19 years (O.R. = 3.352), and during the summer months (O.R. = 2.596), while residing in an urban area decreased the risk (O.R. = 0.546). The first case-case study compared C. coli and C. jejuni cases and also showed a higher risk of C. coli during the summer (O.R. = 1.313) and in people older than 19 years (O.R. = 0.791). Living in an urban area was associated with a reduced risk of infection (O.R. = 0.769). Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) indicated that sheep and chicken C. coli sequence types (STs) were most frequently found in humans whilst those from cattle and pigs were rarer. MLST diversity was high in isolates from pigs and chicken, intermediate in human isolates, and low in ruminant isolates. The second case-case study used MLST data to ascribe putative sources of infection to the cases. The putative source for 40% of cases was chicken, with 60% acquired from other sources (ruminants 54% and pigs 6%). The case-case analysis also showed that female gender was a risk factor (O.R. = 1.940), which may be explained by females being more likely to prepare poultry in the home. These findings indicate differences between the aetiology of C. coli and C. jejuni infections: this should be taken into account by public health professionals when developing strategies to reduce the burden of human campylobacteriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere64504
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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