Submitted to: American Society of Microbiologists Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Sung, K.D., Stern, N.J., Hiett, K.L. 2004. Relation of mRNA reverse transcriptase-PCR signal to Campylobacter spp. colonization of chicks [Abstract]. Avian Disease. 48:254-262. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Chicken colonization by cells of Campylobacter jejuni having positive mRNA Reverse Transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) signal, but which are non-cultivable, would provide a means to relate cell viability with mRNA signal. In addition, the role of viable but non-cultivable (VBNC) forms of Campylobacter spp. for colonization of poultry could be verified. Levels of four Campylobacter spp., previously isolated from poultry feces, declined progressively over time and loss of cultivability occurred after 6 to 7 weeks incubation in phosphate buffed saline (PBS) at 4oC. Cold-stored, non-cultivable, or heat-inactivated (60oC for 10 min) Campylobacter spp. produced inconsistent amplified products in our RT-PCR assay depending on the target genes and strains used, though all fresh cultures showed mRNA signals. Presumed VBNC or heat-inactivated Campylobacter spp., which produced positive mRNA signal but was not cultivable by conventional culture-based methods, did not establish colonization in chick intestine seven days after challenge. These results characterize the relation of mRNA signal to cell viability, as well as the apparently limited role of VBNC cells in environmental transmission of Campylobacter spp.