Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 23, 2002
Publication Date: December 1, 2002
Citation: Hiett, K.L., Stern, N.J., Cray, P.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Ladely, S.R. 2002. Molecular subtype analyses of campylobacter spp. from arkansas and california poultry operations. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Interpretive Summary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Campylobacter enteritis is a multi billion dollar disease and that the consumption of poultry is a primary source for clinical infections in humans. Therefore, understanding the pathways involved in Campylobacter contamination of poultry is essential for the development of intervention strategies and the ereduction of Campylobacter in poultry. We sampled, isolated and genetically characterized Campylobacter from a wide variety of potential sources among 16 United States commercial broiler flocks. The temporal sequence of isolation, together with the genetic information, suggested that, for the most part, the broiler flocks provided Campylobacter to the environment, rather than the environment contaminating the broilers. Upon completing the remaining data analysis we will be able to direct our intervention efforts to control the most important sources for broiler contamination.
Technical Abstract: Samples, from broiler production/processing environments, were cultured for Campylobacter, and typed using flaA SVR DNA sequence typing. A total of 16 flocks from 4 different farms, representing 2 primary producers in the United States, were analyzed. Overall, 14 (87.5%) of the flocks were Campylobacter-positive. In general, multiple clones were found to be present within a flock. Additionally, clones found within a flock were also present on the final product (carcass). In six of the flocks, samples taken from the external environment of the poultry house were Campylobacter-positive; only once were environmental samples found positive prior to the flock turning positive. Subtype analyses of environmental isolates that turned positive with the flocks demonstrated varied results; in some instances the environmental isolates possessed identical sequence types to isolates originating from the flock, while in other cases the environmental isolates possessed sequence types that were distantly relate to isolates obtained from the flock. Analysis of the environmental isolates that were positive prior to flock shedding demonstrated that these environmental isolates were distantly related to isolates found within the flock and on the final product. From this data, our results suggest that the external environment does not significantly contribute to Campylobacter contamination during poultry production.