Campylobacter-associated hospitalisations in an Australian provincial setting

Cameron R.M. Moffatt*, Karina J. Kennedy, Linda Selvey, Martyn D. Kirk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Campylobacter spp. infections are a globally important cause of enterocolitis, causing substantial morbidity. Capturing accurate information on hospitalisations is challenging and limited population-level data exist to describe the clinico-epidemiological characteristics of hospitalised cases. Methods: Hospital administrative and laboratory datasets were linked to identify Campylobacter-associated hospitalisations between 2004 and 2013. Accuracy of morbidity coding was assessed using laboratory diagnosis as a gold standard, with health department surveillance data used to calculate population-based rates. Additional patient-level data were collected via review of medical records. Descriptive statistics were used to assess changes in rates and proportions and to assess relationships between key variables including age, length of stay, comorbidity and complications. Results: In total 685 Campylobacter-associated hospital admissions were identified, with the sensitivity of morbidity coding 52.8% (95% CI 48.9–56.7%). The mean annual rate of hospitalisation was 13.6%. Hospitalisation rates were higher for females across most age-groups, while for both genders marked increases were observed for those aged ≥60 years. Median admission age was 39.5 years, with an average length of stay of 3.5 days. Comorbidities were present in 34.5% (237/685) of admissions, with these patients more likely to develop electrolyte disturbances, hypotension, renal impairment or acute confusion (all p < 0.001). Bacteraemia and acute kidney injury were observed in 4.1% (28/685) and 3.6% (23/685) of admissions, respectively. Inpatient mortality was low (0.15%). Conclusion: Under reporting of Campylobacter-associated hospitalisations is substantial but can be improved through data linkage. We observed demographic differences among those hospitalised but further work is needed to determine risk factors and predictors for hospitalisation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number10
    JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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