Controlling campylobacter infection

Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhoeal disease in the developed world and produces a major health and economic burden.

The causes of approximately half of human cases are unknown. Each year around 40% of cases occur during what is termed the “spring peak”. Although scientists around the world have spent more than 30 years investigating this bacterium many mysteries remain.

In our ‘Sources, Seasonality, Transmission and Control: Campylobacter and human behaviour in a changing environment (Enigma)’ study we are seeking to solve some of these puzzles. To do this we will be looking at the roles that environmental and food pathways and their interactions can play. We will also be investigating how human behaviour and human-environment interactions could influence exposure to organisms and risk of disease.

The ENIGMA project is led by Prof. Sarah O’Brien at the University of Liverpool and is a large £5 million collaborative programme of research taking place across the UK.

This research is funded by the Medical Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council and Food Standards Agency, through the Environmental & Social Ecology of Human Infectious Diseases Initiative (ESEI). Grant reference G1100799/1.