Submitted to: Current Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2001
Publication Date: March 1, 2002
Interpretive Summary: Chickens carry the bacteria, Campylobacter, in their intestines. Sometimes this organism will make its way from contaminated retail poultry products to the intestines of human consumers. When this happens, the consumer may contract a severe diarrhea called campylobacteriosis. Our work is part of a broad effort to understand how campylobacteria reside in or colonize the chicken, and to find ways to reduce this colonization. We vaccinated chickens with modified Campylobacter that have genetic properties that keep the bacteria from colonizing chickens. We inoculated chickens with these living but harmless modified Campylobacter and determined that vaccinating chickens with modified Campylobacter did not protect the chickens from colonization by ordinary campylobacteria.
Technical Abstract: The gastrointestinal tract of chickens is frequently colonized by high concentrations of campylobacteria, which are the most common causative agent of human food-borne bacterial disease. There is currently no effective way to either prevent colonization or to reduce the gastrointestinal level of Campylobacter jejuni in live birds. In these present experiments we inoculated chickens with viable, avirulent, non- colonizing mutant strains of Campylobacter jejuni. We used a mixture of four different strains, with or without adjuvant and two routes of inoculation. We then orally gavaged the birds with a strain of C. jejuni that is an excellent colonizer of the chick cecum, and determined the levels of C. jejuni in vaccinated and control birds. We found that intramuscular inoculation, with and without adjuvant and with or without a concomitant oral dose of the non-colonizing strains, failed to provoke a protective immunity.