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.
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: email@example.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.).