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item Hiett, Kelli
item Siragusa, Gregory
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Musgrove, Michael
item Stern, Norman

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2002
Publication Date: 6/1/2003
Citation: Hiett, K.L., Siragusa, G.R., Cox, Jr., N.A., Buhr, R.J., Musgrove, M.T., Stern, N.J., Wilson, J.L. 2003. Genotype analysis of Campylobacter isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts and the reproductive tracts of broiler breeder roosters. Avian Diseases. 47:406-414.

Interpretive Summary: The CDC estimates that the consumption of poultry is a primary source of Campylobacter enteritis 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. Recent evidence implicates breeders as a source for contamination of the subsequent broiler offspring. In an effort to further investigate these findings, we sampled, isolated and genetically characterized Campylobacter from the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts of twelve breeder broiler roosters. The genetic information suggested that presence of Campylobacter in the rooster reproductive tract originated from cecal contamination. Additionally, no relationship between genotype and the origin of the sample could be ascertained.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter is considered to be the leading bacterial etiologic agent of acute gastroenteritis in humans. Evidence implicates poultry as a major source for the organism for human illness; however, the pathways involved in Campylobacter contamination of poultry flocks, horizontal transmission and/or vertical transmission, remains unclear. Recent evidence implicates breeders as a potential source for Campylobacter contamiation of the subsequent broiler offspring. In this investigation, Campylobacter isolated from feces, cloacal swabs, ceca, semen, and vas deferens of twelve breeder broiler roosters were genotyped using both flaA SVR DNA sequence analysis and rep-PCR. In nine of twelve roosters, Campylobacter was isolated from multiple sites sampled. Comparison of multiple isolates obtained from individual roosters revealed variable results. In five of the nine roosters, all Campylobacter isolated demonstrated closely related flaA SVR DNA sequences as well as rep-PCR patterns; isolates from these roosters were collected from either both the gastrointestinal and the reproductive tracts or from the gastrointestinal tract alone. The remaining four roosters had Campylobacter that were distinct using both typing methods. Isolates from two of these four roosters originated from both the gastrointestinal and the reproductive tracts. Isolates from the remaining two roosters originated from only the reproductive tract. Comparisions of all Campylobacter isolates recovered from a distinct sample type within either the reproductive tract or the gastrointestinal tract (feces, semen, cloaca, vas diferens, or ceca) were found to be quite diverse. No relationship between the genotypes and the sample type could be ascertained. Further investigations are needed to determine the route of contamination and if the presence of Campylobacter within the rooster leads to contamination of the broiler offspring via the fertilized egg.