The Role of Environmental Reservoirs in Human Campylobacteriosis

Harriet Whiley, Ben Van Den Akker, Steven Giglio, Richard Bentham

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    116 Citations (Scopus)


    Campylobacteriosis is infection caused by the bacteria Campylobacter spp. and is considered a major public health concern. Campylobacter spp. have been identified as one of the most common causative agents of bacterial gastroenteritis. They are typically considered a foodborne pathogen and have been shown to colonise the intestinal mucosa of all food-producing animals. Much emphasis has been placed on controlling the foodborne pathway of exposure, particularly within the poultry industry, however, other environmental sources have been identified as important contributors to human infection. This paper aims to review the current literature on the sources of human exposure to Campylobacter spp. and will cover contaminated poultry, red meat, unpasteurised milk, unwashed fruit and vegetables, compost, wild bird faeces, sewage, surface water, ground water and drinking water. A comparison of current Campylobacter spp. identification methods from environmental samples is also presented. The review of literature suggests that there are multiple and diverse sources for Campylobacter infection. Many environmental sources result in direct human exposure but also in contamination of the food processing industry. This review provides useful information for risk assessment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5886-5907
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2013


    • C. jejuni
    • Campylobacter spp.
    • Campylobacteriosis
    • Environmental reservoirs
    • Risk assessment


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