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France notes slight Campylobacter rise in 2019

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Data published by officials at Sante Publique France on Campylobacter in the country in 2019 shows a slight increase compared to the year before.

In France, epidemiological surveillance of Campylobacter infections is based on the National Reference Center for Campylobacter and Helicobacter and the mandatory declaration of outbreaks.

This national reference center reported 8,309 strains of Campylobacter and related bacteria with 7,712 strains identified as Campylobacter spp. In 2018, 7,491 strains were classed as Campylobacter.

Among the 7,712 strains in 2019, Campylobacter jejuni was most frequently identified at 6,526 times, followed by Campylobacter coli 1,061 times and Campylobacter Fetus 75 times.

A seasonal upsurge was observed during the summer period, with a peak in August. This summer pattern was also seen in previous years.

The age at infection ranged from zero to 100 years old. A higher number of cases was seen among children. The highest incidence was in the zero- to 9-year age group and the lowest was reported in the 40- to 59-year age group. Incidence was higher in males than females except in people aged 20 to 29 years.

Meat often linked to outbreaks
In 2019, 55 outbreaks from Campylobacter with biological confirmation were declared. There were 241 patients. Food types suspected as a source of contamination for 22 of the outbreaks were poultry products and in 12 it was meats other than poultry. The amount of outbreaks was similar to 2018 but the number of patients was lower.

The rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin remains high but stable at about 60 percent with about 7,700 isolates tested. The rates of resistance to tetracycline at 50 percent in 2019 and ampicillin at 31 percent are also steady.

Resistance rates of Campylobacter coli strains to erythromycin, tetracycline and ciprofloxacin were higher than those of Campylobacter. jejuni strains. The frequency of resistance was very low for gentamicin and zero for amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.

The number of Campylobacter strains reported by the national reference center has been increasing since 2013 when labs started directly entering their data online. The rise could reflect an increase in Campylobacter infections in France or developments in the surveillance system, according to public health officials.

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