01 November 2003
Surveillance of human Campylobacter infections in France - Part 2 - Implementation of national surveillance
Citation style for this article: Gallay A, Simon F, Mégraud F. Surveillance of human Campylobacter infections in France - Part 2 - Implementation of national surveillance. Euro Surveill. 2003;8(11):pii=432. Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=432
Date of submission:
A. Gallay1, F. Simon1,2, F. Mégraud3
1 Institut de veille sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France
2 European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET),
Invs, St-Maurice, France
3 Centre National de Référence des Campylobacters et Hélicobacters,
Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Hôpital Pellegrin, Bordeaux,
| In 2001, one year after the study of microbiological
laboratories that showed the feasibility of a surveillance of Campylobacter
infections, 1389 private laboratories were asked whether they would be
willing to participate. The high proportion of positive responses (48%,
661) allowed the implementation on 1 April 2002 of surveillance of human
A study, carried out in conjunction with French laboratories in 2001,
showed the feasibility of implementing surveillance for human Campylobacter
infections in urban areas in terms of laboratory diagnosis practices.
The selection of the surveillance system was awarded to the network
of private laboratories (Laboratoires d'Analyses de Biologie médicale
(LABM)) that had already been participating in the surveillance system
for salmonellae on a voluntary basis for many years. Salmonellae are
as problematic as campylobacters in terms of foodborne transmission,
with pathologies such as acute gastroenteritis. These laboratories are
sensitive to surveillance purposes and have a good knowledge of the
principles and channels of surveillance networks. Moreover, the 1389
laboratories of the surveillance network for salmonellae are distributed
throughout France, and represent around 30% of all 4000 private laboratories.
Prior to implementing surveillance of Campylobacter infections, the
1389 private laboratories involved in the surveillance network for salmonellae
were asked about their willingness to participate in the surveillance
of Campylobacter infections in November 2001, using a standardised questionnaire.
Of the 1389 private laboratories surveyed, around 600 agreed to take
part in the surveillance of Campylobacter infections. Based on the per
laboratory annual average of 129 samples cultured for Campylobacter,
with a mean rate of 4.7% positive results, 3600 Campylobacter isolates
can be expected nationally each year. This number is considered sufficient
enough to begin surveillance and respond to public health objectives.
Surveillance of Campylobacter infections (figure) based on voluntarily
sending isolated strains with a completed information sheet to the national
reference centre for Campylobacters and Helicobacters (Centre National
de Référence des Campylobacters et Hélicobacters
(CNRCH) began on 1 April 2002.
The authors wish to thank the private laboratories and the national
reference centre for salmonellae and shigellae that participated in
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