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Private water supplies as a risk factor for Campylobacter infection in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire
Project Code: S14024
Health Protection Scotland
The findings of the case-control study showed that cases were between two and four times more likely to have a private water supply as their home water supply than controls, suggesting that private water supplies can be an important source of Campylobacter infection.
The study also found that private water supplies were significantly more likely to be contaminated with a range of bacteria including coliforms, E. coli and Enterococci than mains water supplies, and that there was very little difference in the quality of private water supplies belonging to cases compared with those of controls.
The findings of this study also supported the findings of other studies in identifying travel abroad as an important risk factor, and also the consumption of chicken when eaten outside of the home.
This was one of the first studies to also use the molecular typing of Campylobacter to further understand its epidemiology. This aspect of the study showed that both travel abroad and having contact with farm animals were significantly associated with the specific molecular type of Campylobacter with which the case was infected. Cases who had travelled abroad had a greater diversity in the molecular types of Campylobacter isolated than those who had not.
This study has helped to understand some of the risk factors associated with Campylobacter infection, and in particular the risk associated with drinking water from a private water supply.
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