Clinical Characteristics, Risk Factors, and Population Attributable Fraction for Campylobacteriosis in a Nicaraguan Birth Cohort

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  • 1 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
  • 2 Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Center of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, León (UNAN-León), León, Nicaragua;
  • 3 Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
  • 4 Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Campylobacteriosis is an important contributor to the global burden of acute gastroenteritis (AGE). In Nicaragua, the burden, risk factors, and species diversity for infant campylobacteriosis are unknown. Between June 2017 and December 2018, we enrolled 444 infants from León, Nicaragua, in a population-based birth cohort, conducting weekly household AGE surveillance. First, we described clinical characteristics of symptomatic Campylobacter infections, and then compared clinical characteristics between Campylobacter jejuni/coli and non-jejuni/coli infections. Next, we conducted a nested case–control analysis to examine campylobacteriosis risk factors. Finally, we estimated the population attributable fraction of campylobacteriosis among infants experiencing AGE. Of 296 AGE episodes in the first year of life, Campylobacter was detected in 59 (20%), 39 were C. jejuni/coli, and 20 were non-jejuni/coli species, including the first report of Campylobacter vulpis infection in humans. Acute gastroenteritis symptoms associated with C. jejuni/coli lasted longer than those attributed to other Campylobacter species. In a conditional logistic regression model, chickens in the home (odds ratio [OR]: 3.8, 95% CI: 1.4–9.8), a prior AGE episode (OR: 3.3; 95% CI: 1.4–7.8), and poverty (OR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2–0.9) were independently associated with campylobacteriosis. Comparing 90 infants experiencing AGE with 90 healthy controls, 22.4% (95% CI: 11.2–32.1) of AGE episodes in the first year of life could be attributed to Campylobacter infection. Campylobacter infections contribute substantially to infant AGE in León, Nicaragua, with non-jejuni/coli species frequently detected. Reducing contact with poultry in the home and interventions to prevent all-cause AGE may reduce campylobacteriosis in this setting.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Samuel Vilchez, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, León (UNAN-León), León 21000, Nicaragua. E-mail: samuelvilchez@gmail.com

Financial support: This work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (R01AI127845 and K24AI141744 to S. B.-D. and S. V.) and the Fogarty International Center (D43TW010923 to C. P., L. G., F. G., and Y. R.).

Authors’ addresses: Denise T. St. Jean, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel, Hill, NC, E-mail: denise.st.jean@unc.edu. Roberto Herrera, Claudia Pérez, Lester Gutiérrez, Fredman González, Yaoska Reyes, Christian Toval-Ruiz, Patricia Blandón, Filemón Bucardo, and Samuel Vilchez, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, León (UNAN-León), León, Nicaragua, E-mails: robertojhgarcia@gmail.com, claudiaperro87@yahoo.com, gutierrezperez02@yahoo.es, frewey14@yahoo.com, yaobel@hotmail.es, chris0412toval@gmail.com, anablandon98@hotmail.com, fili_bucardo@hotmail.com, and samuelvilchez@gmail.com. Nadja A. Vielot and Sylvia Becker-Dreps, Department of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mails: vielot@email.unc.edu and sbd@email.unc.edu. Oksana Kharabora and Natalie M. Bowman, Division of Infectious Diseases, UNC School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mails: kharabor@email.unc.edu and natalie_bowman@med.unc.edu.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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