Kristiina Suominen, Tessa Häkkänen, Jukka Ranta, Jukka Ollgren, Rauni Kivistö, Päivikki Perko-Mäkelä, Saara Salmenlinna, Ruska Rimhanen-Finne

Campylobacteriosis in Finland: Passive Surveillance in 2004–2021 and a Pilot Case-Control Study with Whole-Genome Sequencing in Summer 2022

  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Campylobacteriosis causes a significant disease burden in humans worldwide and is the most common type of zoonotic gastroenteritis in Finland. To identify infection sources for domestic Campylobacter infections, we analyzed Campylobacter case data from the Finnish Infectious Disease Register (FIDR) in 2004–2021 and outbreak data from the National Food- and Waterborne Outbreak Register (FWO Register) in 2010–2021, and conducted a pilot case-control study (256 cases and 756 controls) with source attribution and patient sample analysis using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in July–August 2022. In the FIDR, 41% of the cases lacked information on travel history. Based on the case-control study, we estimated that of all cases, 39% were of domestic origin. Using WGS, 22 clusters of two or more cases were observed among 185 domestic cases, none of which were reported to the FWO register. Based on this case-control study and source attribution, poultry is an important source of campylobacteriosis in Finland. More extensive sampling and comparison of patient, food, animal, and environmental isolates is needed to estimate the significance of other sources. In Finland, campylobacteriosis is more often of domestic origin than FIDR notifications indicate. To identify the domestic cases, travel information should be included in the FIDR notification, and to improve outbreak detection, all domestic patient isolates should be sequenced.

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