Seroepidemiological studies indicate frequent and repeated exposure to Campylobacter spp. during childhood

C. W. Ang, P. F. M. Teunis, P. Herbrink, J. Keijser, Y. H. T. P. van Duynhoven, C. E. Visser, W. van Pelt

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The annual number of episodes of clinical gastroenteritis caused by Campylobacter spp. in The Netherlands is estimated to be 75 000, i.e. once per 200 person life-years. This number is based on extrapolation of culture results from population-based studies. The number of culture-confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection peaks in the first 3 years of life and again between the ages of 20 and 25 years. The seroepidemiology of Campylobacter describes the relationship between age and exposure to Campylobacter and reflects both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. Using a validated ELISA system, antibodies to Campylobacter were measured in an age-stratified sample (n=456) of the PIENTER serum collection of the Dutch general population. The seroprevalence of Campylobacter IgG antibodies increased with age, reaching almost 100% at age 20 years. Antibody levels steadily increased with age until young adulthood, suggesting repeated exposure to Campylobacter. In conclusion, seroepidemiological data demonstrated repeated exposures to Campylobacter throughout life, most of which do not lead to clinical symptoms. From young adulthood, >95% of the population in The Netherlands had serological evidence for exposure to Campylobacter
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1368
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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