Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Isolation and Prevalence of Campylobacter in the Reproductive Tracts and Semen of Commercial Turkeys

Authors
item Cole, Kim - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Donoghue, Ann
item Holiman, J - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Blore, Pam - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Donoghue, Dan - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 25, 2004
Publication Date: May 24, 2004
Citation: Cole, K., Donoghue, A.M., Holiman, J.S., Blore, P.J., Donoghue, D.J. 2004. Isolation and prevalence of campylobacter in the reproductive tracts and semen of commercial turkeys. Avian Diseases. 48:625-630.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter is the one of the most commonly reported bacterial causes of human food borne infections in the United States and epidemiological evidence indicates that a significant proportion of human infections result from the improper preparation of poultry products. The present studies were undertaken to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in the reproductive systems of commercial turkeys. In the first study, pooled semen samples from 7 commercial turkey farms were randomly collected by abdominal massage over a period of 13 weeks. Campylobacter was isolated from 57 of the 59 pooled semen. In the second study, the reproductive tracts of 11 hens and 17 toms were aseptically excised and the segments (female: vagina, shell gland, isthmus, magnum, and infundibulum; male: ductus deferens and testes) were evaluated for Campylobacter. Of the 11 hens sampled, Campylobacter was isolated from the vagina (10/11), the shell gland (7/11), the isthmus (8/11), the magum (6/11), and the infundibulum (3/11). Of the 17 toms sampled, Campylobacter was isolated from the ductus deferens (8/17) and the testes (2/17). Campylobacter is present in the reproductive tracts and semen of commercial turkeys and may lead to vertical transmission of Campylobacter from the hen to the chick.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter is the one of the most commonly reported bacterial causes of human food borne infections in the United States and epidemiological evidence indicates that a significant proportion of human infections result from the improper preparation of poultry products. The present studies were undertaken to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in the reproductive systems of commercial turkeys. In the first study, pooled semen samples from 7 commercial turkey farms were randomly collected by abdominal massage over a period of 13 weeks. The pooled semen samples were serially diluted and 0.1ml of each dilution was plated on Campy-Line agar and incubated at 42 C for 48 hr in a microaerophilic environment for enumeration of Campylobacter. Campylobacter was isolated from 57 of the 59 pooled semen samples. In the second study, the reproductive tracts of 11 hens and 17 toms were aseptically excised and the segments (female: vagina, shell gland, isthmus, magnum, and infundibulum; male: ductus deferens and testes) were swabbed with a dry cotton sterile swab. The swabs were incubated for 24 hr in Campylobacter enrichment broth and 0.1 ml of the enriched sample solution was streaked onto Campy-Line agar plates and incubated at 42 C for 48 hr in a microaerophilic environment. Of the 11 hens sampled, Campylobacter was isolated from the vagina (10/11), the shell gland (7/11), the isthmus (8/11), the magum (6/11), and the infundibulum (3/11). Of the 17 toms sampled, Campylobacter was isolated from the ductus deferens (8/17) and the testes (2/17). Campylobacter is present in the reproductive tracts and semen of commercial turkeys and may lead to vertical transmission of Campylobacter from the hen to the chick.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page