Temporal and farm-management-associated variation in faecal-pat prevalence of Campylobacter fetus in sheep and cattle

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The faecal-pat prevalence (as estimated by culture) of Campylobacter fetus from cattle and sheep on 19 farms in rural Lancashire was investigated using standard Campylobacter culture techniques and PCR during a 2-year longitudinal study. C. fetus was isolated from 9·48% [95% confidence interval (CI) 8·48–10·48] of cattle faecal pats and 7·29% (95% CI 6·21–9·62) of sheep faecal pats. There was evidence of significant differences in shedding prevalence between geographical regions; cows in geographical zone 3 had an increased risk of shedding C. fetus compared to cows in geographical zones 1 and 2 (OR 6·64, 95% CI 1·67–26·5, P = 0·007), as did cows at pasture (OR 1·66, 95% CI 1·01–2·73, P = 0·046) compared to when housed. Multiple logistic regression modelling demonstrated underlying seasonal periodicity in both species.

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