Campylobacter coli in NZ, 2005-2014

Campylobacteriosis is one of the most important foodborne diseases worldwide and a significant health burden in New Zealand. Campylobacter jejuni is the predominant species worldwide, accounting for approximately 90% of human cases, followed by Campylobacter coli. Most studies in New Zealand have focused on C. jejuni; hence, the impact of C. coli strains on campylobacter.colihuman health is not well understood.

The aim of this study was to genotype C. coli isolates collected in the Manawatu region of New Zealand from clinical cases, fresh poultry meat, ruminant feces, and environmental water sources, between 2005 and 2014, to study their population structure and estimate the contribution of each source to the burden of human disease. 

Campylobacter isolates were identified by PCR and typed by multilocus sequence typing. C. coli accounted for 2.9% (n = 47/1,601) of Campylobacter isolates from human clinical cases, 9.6% (n = 108/1,123) from poultry, 13.4% (n = 49/364) from ruminants, and 6.4% (n = 11/171) from water.

Molecular subtyping revealed 27 different sequence types (STs), of which 18 belonged to clonal complex ST-828. ST-1581 was the most prevalent C. coli sequence type isolated from both human cases (n = 12/47) and poultry (n =44/110). When classified using cladistics, all sequence types belonged to clade 1 except ST-7774, which belonged to clade 2. ST-854, ST-1590, and ST-4009 were isolated only from human cases and fresh poultry, while ST-3232 was isolated only from human cases and ruminant sources. Modeling indicated ruminants and poultry as the main sources of C. coli human infection.


We performed a molecular epidemiological study of Campylobacter coli infection in New Zealand, one of few such studies globally. This study analyzed the population genetic structure of the bacterium and included a probabilistic source attribution model covering different animal and water sources. The results are discussed in a global context.

Molecular epidemiology of Campylobacter coli strains isolated from different sources in New Zealand between 2005 and 2014

Antoine Nohra a,b, Alex Grinberg b, Anne C. Midwinter a,b, Jonathan C. Marshall a, Julie M. Collins-Emerson a,b and Nigel P. French a,b

A Molecular Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health Laboratory (mEpiLab), Infectious Disease Research Centre, Hopkirk Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

b Infectious Diseases Group, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Volume 82, Number 14, Pages 4363-4370, doi:10.1128/AEM.00934-16

Best in show: dog show leads to E. coli outbreak in Sweden

Around 50 dog owners and several dogs are believed to have been infected with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) following a dog show in eastern Sweden.

"We’re right in the middle of investigating where the bacteria came from," Britt Åkerlind of the infectious disease unit of Östergötland County told The Local.

So far, two Swedes have been confirmed as infected by EHEC, one from Skåne in the south, and another from Gothenburg in the west.

"But we’re expecting more confirmed cases to come in," said Åkerlind.

Those infected with the bacteria all attended a dog show near Norrköping in eastern Sweden held the first weekend in June.

Of the roughly 120 participants, who traveled from all over Sweden as well as from Denmark, Norway, and Finland, about half have come down with symptoms stemming from EHEC infection.

"We’ve also received reports that some of the dogs have had upset stomachs," said Åkerlind, who labeled the outbreak as "quite large."