Aims: Campylobacter jejuni isolates from various sources in Iceland were genotyped with the aim of assessing the genetic diversity, population structure, source distribution and campylobacter transmission routes to humans.
Methods and Results: A collection of 584 Campylobacter isolates were collected from clinical cases, food, animals and environment in Iceland in 1999–2002, during a period of national Campylobacter epidemic in Iceland. All isolates were characterized by pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and selected subset of 52 isolates representing the diversity of the identified PFGE types was further genotyped using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and fla-SVR sequencing to gain better insight into the population structure.
Conclusions: The results show a substantial diversity within the Icelandic Campylobacter population. Majority of the human Campylobacter infections originated from domestic chicken and cattle isolates. MLST showed the isolates to be distributed among previously reported and common sequence type complexes in the MLST database.
Significance and Impact of the Study: The genotyping of Campylobacter from various sources has not previously been reported from Iceland, and the results of the study gave a valuable insight into the population structure of Camp. jejuni in Iceland, source distribution and transmission routes to humans. The geographical isolation of Iceland in the north Atlantic provides new information on Campylobacter population dynamics on a global scale.