Submitted to: Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/2007
Publication Date: 9/3/2007
Citation: Guerin, M.T., Martin, S.W., Reiersen, J., Berke, O., Mcewen, S.A., Bisaillon, J.R., Lowman, R., Michel, P., Stern, N.J., Hiett, K.L. 2007. Farm-Level Risk Factors for the Occurrence of Campylobacter in Broilers in Iceland. Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop. P 138, #P434. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Introduction A longitudinal study was conducted in Iceland to identify the means to decrease the frequency of broiler flock colonization with Campylobacter, thereby reducing the burden of foodborne illness associated with poultry consumption. Our objective in this study was to identify risk factors for flock colonization acting specifically at the broiler farm level. Methods Between May 2001 and September 2004, pooled caecal samples were obtained from 1,425 flocks at slaughter and cultured for Campylobacter. Due to the strong seasonal variation in flock prevalence, analyses were restricted to a subset of flocks (n=792) raised during the four summer seasons. Flock results were collapsed to the farm level, such that the number of positive flocks and the total number of flocks raised were summed for each farm. Logistic regression models were fitted to the data using automated and manual selection methods. Variables of interest included manure management, water source and treatment, other poultry/livestock on farm, and farm size and management. Results Twenty-seven percent of 792 flocks tested positive. Per farm, the median number of flocks was 14, and the median number of positive flocks was three. Farm-level risk factors included increasing median flock size on the farm, spreading manure on the farm, and increasing the number of broiler houses on the farm. Protective factors included the use of official (municipal) or official treated water compared to the use of non-official untreated water, storing manure on the farm, and other livestock on the farm. Conclusion 1) Limiting the average flock size, and limiting the number of houses built on new farms, are interventions that require investigation. 2) Water may play a role in the transmission of Campylobacter, therefore the use of official water, and potentially, treating non-official water may reduce the risk of colonization. 3) Manure management practices deserve further attention.