Submitted to: Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: 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 reduction of Campylobacter in poultry. Traditionally, the detection of Campylobacter in epidemiological investigations has relied upon cultural methodology. This method of detection requires several days to complete and often lacks in sensitivity. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technology that offers a sensitive, specific, and rapid alternative for the detection of Campylobacter. However, PCR alone has not been extended to demonstrate detection of Campylobacter in naturally contaminated samples. In this research, we describe a direct PCR assay, using a previously developed set of primers specific for a highly conserved region of the flaA gene of Campylobacter, to test native hatchery fluff and eggshells for the presence of Campylobacter. This new methodology was demonstrated to be rapid, robust, and sensitive. It is expected that the described assay will also be adapted to assess Campylobacter contamination in other environmental samples and poultry products.
Technical Abstract: A rapid, sensitive, and specific PCR assay was developed for the direct detection of Campylobacter in environmental samples from hatcheries. PCR, using a set of primers specific for the Campylobacter flaA SVR, detected the presence of Campylobacter in both fluff and eggshell samples; however, a determination of whether the organism was alive or dead could not be made. Conventional cultural methods detected no Campylobacter in the same samples. An additional benefit of the direct PCR assay is it allows for the production of a product that can be sequenced to provide further epidemiological information.