Campylobacter Positivity and Public Health Risks in Live Bird Markets, Busia, Kenya, 2018

  • Water or foodborne
  • Animal health
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Campylobacter is one of the pathogenic zoonotic agents whose circulation is facilitated by conducive environment in Live Bird Markets (LBMs).Annually, it causes bloody diarrheal illness, loss of 33 million healthy life years with deaths in children and the immunosuppressed worldwide. Live poultry traders (LPTs) are at increased risk of infection due to regular contacts with poultry and incur high costs associated with management of the disease. The epidemiological role of LBM in Campylobacteriosis causation has not been well explored in Kenya. We sought to identify elements in LBMs that could contribute to risk of transmission of Campylobacter.
In a cross-sectional survey using multi-stage cluster sampling, we randomly selected LBMs and enrolled all LPTs) in each selected LBM. We used an interviewer-administered questionnaire to collect information on socio- demographics, flock-structure, biosecurity and risk perceptions on Campylobacteriosis. Likert-scale type questions on transmission pathways were used to evaluate zoonotic-risk. Those who agreed with the risk pathways were awarded a score of “one” and “zero” for disagreement. A score > median categorized respondents as low-risk and ≤ median as high-risk.Campylobacterdetection in individual cloacal samples was done through culture and PCR. We calculated descriptive and analytic statistics to correlate socio-demographics and practices to risk-status.
We enrolled 14 LBMs and 186 LPTs; mean age 46.5 ± 13.7 years; 162 (87.1%) were males and 131(70.4%) were aged between 25 – 54 years. On average, markets had 13 poultry sellers (IQR 8 – 17); 109 (58.6%) LPTs separated poultry species, 146 (78.5%) traded in backyard-poultry, 72 (38.9%) practised onsite-slaughter, 66 (35.5%) accessed handwashing facilities, 54 (29%) identified risk pathways. Of those with cages 126/176 (71.6%) had accumulated litter. Campylobacterpositivity in live-birds was 43/112 (38.4%), 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 29.4 – 48.1. Accumu- lation of litter [prevalence Odds Ratio (pOR): 16.05, 95% CI: 3.67–70.17] was associated with zoonotic-risk. Access to hand-wash facilities [pOR: 0.38 95% CI: 0.18–0.78], access to information, [pOR: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.08–0.43] were protective.
Campylobacterwas present in LBMs. Poor sanitary measures could expose LPTs and their customers to public health risks. Improvement of hygiene in LBMs and education on prevention are recommended.

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