Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of infectious intestinal disease in the UK. Two species of Campylobacter cause most infections accounting for about 90% and 9% of cases respectively, these are:

  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Campylobacter coli

The bacteria are able to live in the gastrointestinal tract of a range of animals including:

  • poultry
  • cats
  • dogs

Risk factors for Campylobacter infection include eating:

  • raw or undercooked meat
  • unpasteurised milk
  • untreated water

Other risk factors for infection including:

  • contact with pets that have diarrhoea
  • contact with livestock

Information about the symptoms and managing Campylobacter infection is available on the NHS inform website.


Visit the Food Standards Scotland website for guidance on the safe handling of food.

For all infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z ​pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.

Data and surveillance

Surveillance reports

Data tables

Campylobacter spp., Scotland: annual totals as at 7 January 2022
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020*
Campylobacter spp. 6,366 6,329 6,161 6,637 6,264 5,336 5,795 6,096 5,977 5,392


* 2020 data remains provisional

Data source: Public Health Scotland