The Ministry for Primary Industries has released a report suggesting that the nation’s number of campylobacteriosis cases has seen minimal decline since 2008.

Published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the research involved a year-long source-attributed case-control study of notified human campylobacteriosis cases, and found that despite the implementation of poultry food chain-focused interventions during 2006–2008, campylobacteriosis was the most notified enteric disease reported in the country.

Researchers found that most cases (84%) were infected with strains attributed to a poultry source, while 93 (14%) were attributed to a cattle source.

The study’s sample included every second reported case in Auckland, as well as every case in the Manawatū/Whanganui region, between March 12 2018 and March 11 2019.

Of the Auckland cases, approximately 90% of campylobacteriosis cases were attributed to poultry sources, compared to almost 75% of rural cases.

The report concluded that while the consumption of poultry was not a high risk factor in itself, direct handling of poultry and poor preparation of the meat did increase the odds.

The study says that “the poultry meat food chain offers several links where intensified or new control measures can be reasonably implemented, and this study provided the impetus for New Zealand Food Safety to set a new public health improvement goal for a 20% reduction in foodborne campylobacteriosis from, 2020 to 2025”.