Campylobacter is the most commonly reported notifiable disease in New Zealand. The cost of Campylobacter infections in the country during 1994 was estimated as $61.7M although the true cost was probably higher. Investigation of the main environmental reservoirs and routes of transmission to humans is necessary to formulate the most appropriate intervention strategies. This project investigated the reservoirs of Campylobacter in a defined geographical area within New Zealand and compared strains isolated from humans and environmental sources within this area as a prelude to investigating the likely transmission routes to humans. Campylobacter jejuni was commonly found in faeces from dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep and ducks, chicken carcasses, sheep offal and surface waters and C. coli was commonly found in sheep faeces. Preliminary analysis of Penner types was suggestive of transmission to humans from dairy and beef cattle and possibly from sheep.

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