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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Molecular Subtype Analyses of Campylobacter in Iceland Poultry Operations and in Human Disease

Authors
item Hiett, Kelli
item Stern, Norman
item Alfredsson, Gudni - INST OF BIOLOGY ICELAND
item Cox, Nelson
item Kristinsson, Karl - NAT UNIV HOSP OF ICELAND
item Gunnersson, Eggert - INST FOR EXP PATHOLOGY
item Fridriksdottir, Vala - INST FOR EXP PATHOLOGY
item Georgsson, Franklin - ENV & FOOD AGENCY
item Thorkelsson, Asmundur - ENV & FOOD AGENCY
item Reirsen, Jarle - CHIEF VET OFFICER

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 24, 2006
Publication Date: April 25, 2006
Citation: Hiett, K.L., Stern, N.J., Alfredsson, G., Cox Jr, N.A., Kristinsson, K.G., Gunnersson, E., Fridriksdottir, V., Georgsson, F., Thorkelsson, A., Reirsen, J. 2006. Molecular subtype analyses of campylobacter in iceland poultry operations and in human disease. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Vol 101, p 1249-1258.

Interpretive Summary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Campylobacter enteritis is a multi billion dollar disease. Evidence implicates poultry as the primary source of the organism for human illness, however, the ecological relationships among Campylobacter in poultry, other animal species, water sources, and human populations remain unclear. In an effort to better understand these relationships, random prospective sampling in Iceland (August 1999 - October 1999 inclusive) for Campylobacter on broiler carcasses, in fecal droppings from additional agriculturally important animals, and from domestic human cases was performed. Recovered Campylobacter were genetically characterized. The temporal sequence of isolation, together with the gentic information, suggested that poultry do indeed serve as a source of Campylobacter infection in humans. Additionally, we observed that related subtypes existed between poultry and other agricultural animals which suggested that exchanges of Campylobacter strains between niches do occur. However a determination as to the direction of the flow requires more detailed epidemiologic investigations. Further comprehensive epidemiologic investigations are currently underway in Iceland.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter are presently believed to be the leading bacterial etiological agent of acute gastroenteritis in the human population. Evidence implicates poultry as the primary source of the organism for human illness, however, the ecological relationships among Campylobacter in poultry, other animal species, water sources, and human populations remain unclear. In an effort to better understand these relationships, random prospective sampling in Iceland (August 1999 - October 1999 inclusive) for Campylobacter on broiler carcasses, in fecal droppings from additional agriculturally important animals, and from domestic humans cases was performed. Isolates were subtyped using flaA SVR DNA sequence analyses. Consistently, Campylobacter with identical flaA SVR DNA sequences were found in broilers and in human disease. Additionally, often the dates of isolation coincided with the time expected from processing to the onset of consumer illness. Analyses of Campylobacter from other agriculturally important animals demonstrated that isolates originating from these sources were quite diverse. Of the thirty-three isolates collected during the current study, thirteen possessed flaA SVR DNA sequences similar to those of poultry and/or of humans. However, it should be noted that Campylobacter were isolated from only the feces of the live animals; no Campylobacter were detected from processed non-poultry samples. The sequence of Campylobacter transmission through the closed system of Iceland remains to be determined.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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