Campylobacter is recognised as a leading cause of food borne disease in developed countries, but there is a paucity of data on its presence, risk factors and impact in developing countries. The importance of Campylobacter in Kenya is unknown, yet it has poultry production systems similar to developed countries, but with more rudimentary marketing and processing systems. Data on the source of campylobacter contamination are limited, which in part reflects the lack of knowledge of the poultry food systems and the exposure of the meat consumed to contamination.
Our study aims to better understand the epidemiology of campylobacter infection in Nairobi, Kenya by investigating its public health significance, transmission routes, contamination mechanisms, possible drivers and options for control. It is closely linked to a large interdisciplinary project in Nairobi, Kenya (Urban Zoo) on disease emergence in urban/peri-urban environments that provides important information on the structure, location, organisation and functioning of the different livestock value chains in Nairobi. In addition, samples are collected from people and animals for laboratory analysis. Clinical isolates are attributed to possible sources on the basis of their sequence types with use of suitable models, which helps us to identify critical areas of risk in the poultry value chains. Further data collection focuses at these points through investigative interviewing techniques to understand production practices and behaviours that may impact on disease risk and mitigation options.