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Sentinel surveillance of Campylobacter in Ireland

Project Reference: 04-RESR-04

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: March, 2005

Project Duration: 36 months


Campylobacters are the most common bacterial cause of acute gastroenteritis in the developed world (Friedman et al. 2001). On the island of Ireland, there are approximately 2,500 confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis per year. However, the true burden of Campylobacter infections is thought to be much higher, a point of view supported by such surveys as the safefood acute gastroenteritis telephone survey in 2003. In particular, the epidemiology of Campylobacter infection is still poorly understood. 

This project involved the collection of detailed clinical and microbiological information on cases of Campylobacter infection in order to generate hypotheses as to potential risk factors for infection. Food, animal and human sources of Campylobacter were targeted. This project brought together Public Health Medical Practitioners, Clinical/Food Laboratory Personnel, Veterinary Health Specialists and Food Safety research expertise to address the growing issue of campylobacteriosis in Ireland.


Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Declan Bolton, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Dublin


Dr Margaret O’ Sullivan, Health Service Executive – South

Prof Seamus Fanning, University College Dublin



A Review of the Milk Supply Chain (Data included in the Consumer Focused Review)

Peer Reviews:

T. Vinogradova, M. Danaher, A. Baxter, M. Moloney, D. Victory, S.A. Haughey, “Rapid surface plasmon resonance immunobiosensor assay for microcystin toxins in blue-green algae food supplements”. Talant (2010), doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2011.01.036.

Emiliana Capurro, Martin Danaher ∗, Aniello Anastasio, Maria Luisa Cortesi , Michael O’Keeffe. “Efficient HPLC method for the determination of nicarbazin, as dinitrocarbanilide in broiler liver”. Journal of Chromatography B, 822 (2005) 154–159.

J. Kennedy, V. Jackson, I.S. Blair and D.A. McDowell, C. Cowan and D. J. Bolton. 2004. “Consumer Food Safety Knowledge and the Microbiological and Temperature Status of their Refrigerators”. Journal of Food Protection 68 (97), 1421-1430.

J. Kennedy, I.S. Blair and D.A. McDowell, C. Cowan and D. J. Bolton  2004. “The Microbiological Status of Food Contact Surfaces in Domestic Kitchens and the Growth/Persistence of Staphylococcus Aureus in Domestic Refrigerators”. Trends in Food Protection 25 (12).

J. Kennedy, V. Jackson, I.S. Blair and D.A. McDowell, C. Cowan and D. J. Bolton 2005. “Consumer Food Safety Knowledge: Segmentation of Irish Food Preparers Based on Food Safety Knowledge and Practice”. British Food Journal 107 (7) 441-452.

Kennedy, I.S. Blair and D.A. McDowell, C. Cowan and D. J. Bolton 2005. “An investigation of the thermal inactivation of Staphylococcus Aureus and the potential for increased thermo tolerance as a result of chilled storage”. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 99 (5):1229-35.

Smyth, D. S., Kennedy, J., Twohig, J., Miajlovic, H., Bolton , D., & Smyth, C. J. 2006. “Staphylococcus Aureus isolates from Irish domestic refrigerators possess novel enterotoxin and enterotoxin-like genes and are clonal in nature”. Journal of Food Protection 69, 508-515.

Jackson, V., Blair, I. S., McDowell, D. A., Kennedy, J and Bolton, D. J. 2007. “The incidence of significant foodborne pathogens in domestic refrigerators”. Food Control 18 (4), 346-351.

Smyth, C, Smyth, D., Kennedy, J., Twohig, J. and Bolton, D. (2004). “Food pathogen epidemiology: microbes, maladies and methods”. Proceedings of an international EU-RAIN conference hosted by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Superimental delle Venezie, Padus, and Italy.

Kennedy, J. and Bolton, D. J., (2003). “Staphylococcus Aureus – your personal companion”. In: EU-RAIN conference, Catering Food safety – A Responsibility Ignored, p34.

Kennedy J. and Bolton, D. J. (2003). “Food safety challenges in refrigeration systems”. Safe Consortium, newly Emerging Pathogens including risk assessment and risk management, Brussels, p25

B. Maunsell, A. Meally, J. Kennedy, C. Cowan and D. J. Bolton. “Guidelines for food safety control in European restaurants: lessons from and audit and surveys”. The Catering and Food Safety 1 Conference, Estoril, Portugal, 28th – 29th October, 2004.

Smyth, C. J., Smyth, D. S., Kennedy, J., Twohig, J. & Bolton, D. (2004). Staphylococcus Aureus : From man or animals – an enterotoxin iceberg, pp. 85-102. In : Maunsell, B, Sheridan, J. & Bolton, D. J. (eds.), Food Pathogen Epidemiology: Microbes, Maladies and Methods , Proceedings of an international European Union Risk Analysis Information Network (EU-RAIN) Conference, December 2004, Padua, Italy. Teagasc – The National Food Centre: Dublin.

Thesis – “Food safety challenges in the domestic environment”. (Ph.D., Jean Kennedy, UUJ, May 2005).

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