The disconcerting lack of knowledge about Campylobacter

The first Thursday of November, CReSA organized a session with a group of professionals involved in the study of the campilobacteriosis, the most important zoonosis in the EU.

The presentations at the technical session "Camylobacter: from farm to table. Current situation and future perspectives", was addressed to professionals of the poultry sector and public health. This bacterium is the most common reported zoonosis in the EU, exceeding that of Samonella. This food-borne pathogen causes acute enteritis, mainly due to undercooked chicken meat consumption.

In addition to Dr. Marta Cerdà, scientist of IRTA-CReSA, the seminar hosted many institutions involved in the fight against this zoonosis: Nutreco Food Research Centre, the Catalan Food Safety Agency (ACSA), the Agencia de Salud Pública de Cataluña (ASPCAT) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which were invited by CReSA to present the latest progress on Campylobacter research. All of them agreed on the need to pay much more attention to this important zoonosis at all levels of the food chain, and particularly increase the awareness to the consumers.

In fact, the FSA organization was put on alert due to this bacterium which is considered one of the most serious health problems in the UK, as defined by Francisco Javier Domínguez, the Deputy Veterinary Director and Head of Strategy of FSA. The statement is supported by the fact that between 65% and 86% of the chicken meat in supermarkets is contaminated with Campylobacter. Despite the knowledge that freezing the food is an effective method to reduce the presence of the bacterium, only 3% of chicken meat is sold frozen, according to UK Research and Innovation Strategy for Campylobacter in the food chain 2010-2015 (FSA).

On the other hand, the relevance of biosecurity both at farm and house level was assessed. The fact that the number of confirmed cases of campilobacteriosis is clearly lower than the real number is remarkable. Confirmed cases "are the tip of iceberg" says Rosa Sala Farré, head of the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit from Vallès Occidental and Vallès Oriental (ASPCAT).

This technical session is included within the Pla Annual de Transferència Tecnològica  (PATT), from the Department of Agriculture, Farming, Fishery, Food and Natural Environment (DAAM). It was chaired by Dr Ignacio Badiola Sáiz, scientist from IRTA-CReSA and was celebrated at the Veterinary School of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Download the presentations of the seminar:

Related documents:

Contact with the person in charge for the investigation in Campylobacter in the CReSA:

Dr. Marta Cerdà Cuéllar
Researcher responsible for the investigation on zoonotic bacterial infection and the antimicrobial resistance in CReSA
Phone no.: +34 93 581 44 94
Fax: +34 93 581 44 90
Edifici CReSA. Campus de la UAB
08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès) Spain

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