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Hvidovre Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Whole-genome sequencing of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from Danish routine human stool samples reveals surprising degree of clustering

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • K G Joensen
  • Katrin Gaardbo Kuhn
  • Nestor L Müller
  • J T Björkman
  • M Torpdahl
  • J Engberg
  • H M Holt
  • H L Nielsen
  • A M Petersen
  • S Ethelberg
  • E M Nielsen
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OBJECTIVES: Outbreaks of Campylobacter are traditionally considered to be rare, however rather than being the true nature of the disease, this may reflect our present inability to detect them. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic and epidemiological degree of clustering among Campylobacter jejuni isolates from Danish patients.

METHODS: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was applied to 245 C. jejuni isolates from patients with domestically acquired infection over a 9-month period in 2015 and 2016.

RESULTS: WGS demonstrated that 62 of the 245 isolates (25%) clustered genetically. In total, 21 genetic clusters were identified of which four (18%) consisted of five isolates or more. Seventeen (81%) of the 21 genetic clusters were clustered in space and/or time. Of the 245 isolates, 49 (20%) were part of a temporal and/or geographical cluster. The identified clusters included two outbreaks; one which had not been identified through the existing surveillance system.

CONCLUSIONS: Using WGS, we show that Campylobacter case clustering and even outbreaks appear to occur more frequently than previously assumed, providing important new insight into the relatively poorly understood epidemiology of the most important cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in the industrialized world.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)201.e5-201.e8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51526420