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Background and objectives: Campylobacter infection is the most commonly reported bacterial gastroenteritis in Germany. We performed a case control study to investigate risk factors for Campylobacter infections. A source attribution analysis based on molecular strain typing (MLST) was conducted to determine routes of transmission.
Materials and methods: Case patients and randomly selected controls completed a questionnaire (study period Nov 2011-Feb 2014). Campylobacter isolates of a subset of case patients were further analyzed by MLST. We conducted logistic regression analyses to determine risk factors. Source attribution analysis was performed using an asymmetric island model.
Results: Consumption of chicken meat; preparation of poultry meat in the household; preparation of non-heated food together with raw meat; eating out; contact with poultry animals; and the use of gastric acid inhibitors were identified as risk factors for Campylobacter infections. As risk factors for C. coli infections we identified consumption of pork and use of gastric acid inhibitors. The majority of human C. jejuni infections were attributed to chicken, whereas or C. coli infections the main sources were chicken and pig.