Submitted to: Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2005
Publication Date: September 4, 2005
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Hiett, K.L., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Bailey, J.S., Cray, P.J. 2005. Presence of naturally occurring campylobacter in the mature and immature ovarian follicles and in the internal organs of broiler breeder hens [abstract]. Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop. H5. 102. Technical Abstract: Campylobacter spp. are known to cause acute bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Raw poultry products have been implicated as a significant source of these infections. Experiments were conducted to determine whether Campylobacter spp. exist naturally in the mature and immature ovarian follicles and in several internal organs of broiler breeder hens. To reduce the possibility of cross-contamination between samples, the thymus, spleen, liver/gallbladder or mature and immature follicles were aseptically removed prior to the ceca. For the samples of internal organs in experiment 1, commercial broiler breeder hens ranging in age from 22 to 74 weeks of age were used. Campylobacter spp. were cultured from 11/43 thymus, 8/43 spleen, 4/20 liver/gallbladder and 30/43 ceca. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from each age group of hens sampled, however a large number of positive samples were found in hens that were 70-74 weeks of age. For experiment 2, the mature and immature ovarian follicles from broiler breeder hens ranging from 60-66 weeks of age were obtained from four different commercial breeder farms. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 7/55 immature follicles, 12/47 mature follicles and 41/55 ceca. In one hen, isolates recovered from the immature ovarian follicles had subtypes that were distinct from those recovered from the ceca. These data clearly show that the maturing follicles and immature follicles, which will become a yolk of fertile eggs, are naturally contaminated with Campylobacter spp. This is strong evidence that the reproductive tract and the fertile egg could be a critical point for the entry of Campylobacter into breeder and broiler flocks. Eliminating these sources will enhance the production of safer poultry food products.