Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 12, 2006
Publication Date: November 14, 2006
Citation: Cook, K.L., Bolster, C.H., Rothrock Jr, M.J., Warren, J.G., Sistani, K.R. 2006. Survival and Transport of Campylobacter Jejuni from Poultry Litter. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of gastrointestinal illness worldwide. Although widely known to survive in refrigerated and undercooked poultry, less is known about its occurrence in poultry litter and the potential for transport from applied litter material into the subsurface. In this study, quantitative, real-time PCR was used to determine the level of C. jejuni in litter from three states; to evaluate the effect of alum amendment on survival of the pathogen in naturally infected litter; and to assess the transport of C. jejuni through repacked soil columns. C. jejuni was present in 4 of 11 litter samples (36%) at concentrations ranging from 1.8 X 106 cells g-1 to 2.4 X 107 cells g-1. C. jejuni survived six weeks of incubation (2.83±0.87 X 106 cells g-1) in untreated litter, but it was completely eliminated after six weeks of incubation in alum treated litter. Leaching studies showed that C. jejuni released from contaminated poultry litter (7.1±3.6 X 107 cells g-1) was capable of leaching through a 15-cm repacked column at concentrations as high as (1.0±0.34 X 103 cells g-1) and was still at detectable levels (1.1±0.33 X 102 cells g-1) after 6 days. However, no C. jejuni could be recovered from the same columns when they were permitted to sit dry for one week. These data suggest that C. jejuni is present in poultry litter from many sources and can be transported from the litter during rainfall events. However, treatment with litter additives such as alum and allowing contaminated litter to dry following application and prior to rainfall should minimize associated health risks.