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Climate, human behaviour or environment: individual-based modelling of Campylobacter seasonality and strategies to reduce disease burden

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  • S.P. Rushton
  • R.A. Sanderson
  • P.J. Diggle
  • M.D.F. Shirley
  • A.P. Blain
  • I. Lake
  • J.A. Maas
  • W.D.K. Reid
  • J. Hardstaff
  • N. Williams
  • N.R. Jones
  • D. Rigby
  • N.J.C. Strachan
  • K.J. Forbes
  • P.R. Hunter
  • T.J. Humphrey
  • S.J. O'Brien
Article number34
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/01/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


BACKGROUND: With over 800 million cases globally, campylobacteriosis is a major cause of food borne disease. In temperate climates incidence is highly seasonal but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood, making human disease control difficult. We hypothesised that observed disease patterns reflect complex interactions between weather, patterns of human risk behaviour, immune status and level of food contamination. Only by understanding these can we find effective interventions. METHODS: We analysed trends in human Campylobacter cases in NE England from 2004 to 2009, investigating the associations between different risk factors and disease using time-series models. We then developed an individual-based (IB) model of risk behaviour, human immunological responses to infection and environmental contamination driven by weather and land use. We parameterised the IB model for NE England and compared outputs to observed numbers of reported cases each month in the population in 2004-2009. Finally, we used it to investigate different community level disease reduction strategies. RESULTS: Risk behaviours like countryside visits (t = 3.665, P