Open Access Open Badges Research article

Do patients with recurrent episodes of campylobacteriosis differ from those with a single disease event?

Julie Arsenault13*, André Ravel23, Pascal Michel23, Olaf Berke4 and Pierre Gosselin35

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, 3200 Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, J2S 7C6, Canada

2 Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, 3200 Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, J2S 7C6, Canada

3 Groupe de recherche en épidémiologie des zoonoses et santé publique, Université de Montréal, 3200 Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, J2S 7C6, Canada

4 Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1, Canada

5 Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), 945 Avenue Wolfe, Quebec City, Quebec, G1V 5B3, Canada; Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ), 2705 boulevard Laurier, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, G1V 4G2, Canada

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-32

Published: 12 January 2011



Although Campylobacter is the leading cause of reported bacterial gastro-enteritis in industrialized countries, little is known on its recurrence. The objective of this study is to describe the risk and the patient characteristics of recurrent episodes of human campylobacteriosis reported in Quebec.


Laboratory-confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis reported in the province of Quebec, Canada, through ongoing surveillance between 1996 and 2006 were analyzed. The risk of having a recurrent episode of campylobacteriosis was described using life table estimates. Logistic regression was used to assess if gender, age and patient residential location were associated with an increased risk of recurrence.


Compared to the baseline risk, the risk for a recurrent disease event was higher for a period of four years and followed a decreasing trend. This increased risk of a recurrent event was similar across gender, but higher for people from rural areas and lower for children under four years of age.


These results may suggest the absence of durable immunity or clinical resilience following a first episode of campylobacteriosis and periodical re-exposure, at least among cases reported through the surveillance system.