Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/24/2003
Publication Date: 11/24/2003
Citation: WESLEY, I.V., MURAOKA, W.T., TRAMPEL, D. CAMPYLOBACTER JEJUNI: A MAJOR FOODBORNE BACTERIAL PATHOGEN. CD-ROM. MONTERREY, MEXICO: FOOD SAFETY CONGRESS. 2003.
Technical Abstract: Bacterial foodborne illnesses account for ~ 15 million cases, 60,000 hospitalizations and 1,800 deaths annually in the United States. Campylobacter jejuni is the major bacterial human foodborne pathogen and each year causes ~ 2 million cases, 300 deaths at an estimated cost of $1 billion in medical and productivity losses. The U.S. Public Health Service has targeted reducing the number of human cases caused by each of these foodborne pathogens significantly by the year 2010. In the U.S., ~ 26% of foodborne outbreaks are linked to contaminated poultry. Thus, lowering the prevalence of Campylobacter in poultry, specifically turkeys, may reduce human foodborne illness. Consumption of undercooked or contaminated poultry is a major risk factor for human Campylobacter infection. There are multiple potential control points for the introduction of Campylobacter spp. into live turkey populations, including the hatchery, brooder, growout, and finally live haul and holding at the abattoir. Our research is focused on identifying the events within ~ 24 hrs of slaughter, including catching, crating, live haul and holding at the slaughterhouse. These events may increase the prevalence of Campylobacter in turkeys. During the summer 2003 we screened five turkey flocks on-farm before transport (Time 1) and at the abattoir before slaughter (Time 2). Sixty-five to 95% of cloacal swab of market-weight turkeys from five flocks in Iowa were positive both on-farm (Time 1) and after transport (Time 2). Only for Flock 3 was a significant increase noted in the overall prevalence of Campylobacter at Time 2 (P < 0.01). No other flock exhibited a change. This could be attributed to the already high prevalence of Campylobacter and the resultant need for a large sample size to detect a statistically significant change. Most significantly, an overall increase in the proportion of C. coli was noted between sampling on-farm (Time 1) and after transport (Time 2). These data indicate that population shifts may be associated with transportation and holding.