By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Since the beginning of August, there has been a general increase in the country in the number of reported cases of disease caused by the intestinal bacterium campylobacter. Since the end of July, an increase in the incidence of campylobacter in Swedish broiler flocks has also been observed.


The Swedish Public Health Agency, regional infection control units, the Swedish Veterinary Institute, the National Food Administration, the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Swedish Work Environment Authority are working to investigate the causes of the increase and to reduce the number of disease cases.

For the past three years, the Swedish Public Health Agency and the National Food Administration have compared campylobacter from fresh chicken bought in stores during the summer with campylobacter from cases of human disease during the corresponding period. In the comparisons, about a third of the disease cases could be linked to chicken meat and the majority to Swedish conventionally bred chicken. There is much to suggest that the increase in cases in humans and the occurrence in flocks of broilers is also this time directly related. The Swedish Public Health Agency and the Swedish Veterinary Institute will now analyze campylobacter samples from cases of disease and broiler flocks as part of the outbreak investigation.

Campylobacter infection in humans is more common in the summer, but the increase now seen occurs after a period when the incidence has been unusually low. The prevalence of campylobacter in broiler flocks has been very low during the first half of the year.