Exploring Campylobacter seasonality across Europe (2008-2016) using The European Surveillance System TESSy

Iain Lake, Felipe De Jesus Colon Gonzalez, Johanna Takkinen, M Rossi, B Sudre, J Gomez Dias, L Tavoschi, Anuja Joshi, Jan Semenza, Gordon Nichols

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Background: Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported food-borne infection in the European Union, with an annual number of cases estimated at around 9 million. In many countries, campylobacteriosis has a striking seasonal peak during early/ mid-summer. In the early 2000s, several publications reported on campylobacteriosis seasonality across Europe and associations with temperature and precipitation. Subsequently, many European countries have introduced new measures against this foodborne disease. Aim: To examine how the seasonality of campylobacteriosis varied across Europe from 2008–16, to explore associations with temperature and precipitation, and to compare these results with previous studies. We also sought to assess the utility of the European Surveillance System TESSy for cross-European seasonal analysis of campylobacteriosis. Methods: Ward’s Minimum Variance Clustering was used to group countries with similar seasonal patterns of campylobacteriosis. A two-stage multivariate meta-analysis methodology was used to explore associations with temperature and precipitation. Results: Nordic countries had a pronounced seasonal campylobacteriosis peak in mid-to late summer (weeks 29–32), while most other European countries had a less pronounced peak earlier in the year. The United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary and Slovakia had a slightly earlier peak (week 24). Campylobacteriosis cases were positively associated with temperature and, to a lesser degree, precipitation. Conclusion: Across Europe, the strength and timing of campylobacteriosis peaks have remained similar to those observed previously. In addition, TESSy is a useful resource for cross-Euro-pean seasonal analysis of infectious diseases such as campylobacteriosis, but its utility depends upon each country’s reporting infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800028
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019


  • Campylobacter
  • campylobacteriosis
  • climate change
  • food-borne infections
  • gastrointentinal disease
  • laboratory surveillance
  • Surveillance

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