An outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni gastroenteritis at an Australian boarding school: consistency between flaA typing and multi-locus sequence typing

Abstract number: P1165

Moffatt C.R., Cameron A.S., Mickan L., Givney R.

Campylobacter jejuni causes an estimated 2 million cases of gastroenteritis each year in the United States more than either Shigella or Salmonella infections. In Australia during 2007, there were approximately 17,000 cases notified, giving a national incidence rate of 120.2 per 100,000 population.

Despite the frequency and potential severity of Campylobacter infections, point source outbreaks are rarely reported.

One reason for this is the lack of a standardised Campylobacter jejuni sub-typing method to distinguish clusters of related cases from the background of sporadic cases/

In this study an outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni gastroenteritis occurring at a boarding school was investigated using a retrospective cohort study and environmental health investigation. Molecular typing of human and environmental isolates using Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) flaA typing and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was undertaken.

Thirty-five cases of gastroenteritis were reported among 58 persons exposed, with 14 confirmed as being C. jejuni infections. Attendance at one evening meal was statistically associated with illness (Ratio of proportions of 3.094, (95% CI, 1.206–11.11, p < 0.0085). There was no statistically significant association between any single food provided at the implicated evening meal and illness, suggesting a potential cause of the outbreak was a cross-contamination event.

Among human isolates two distinct RFLP fla-A subtypes were found. Results from subsequent MLST data were consistent with the fla-A typing results, indicating that RFLP fla-A may be a potential candidate method for Campylobacter jejuni sub-typing for public health epidemiology.

Figure. UPGAM dendrogram of the flaA RFLP patterns of C. jejuni isolates from human and environmental sources.

Session Details

Date: 10/04/2010
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: Abstracts 20th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Vienna, Austria, 10 - 13 April 2010
Presentation type:
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