Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2005
Publication Date: 6/5/2005
Citation: Scupham, A.J. 2005. Microbial community development in the ceca of the domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) [abstract]. American Society for Microbiology. p. 397.
Technical Abstract: Goal: To identify trends in microbial community development in the ceca of turkeys with an emphasis on Campylobacter spp. Methods: Intestinal communities of six male broad-breasted turkeys were allowed to develop naturally, including the colonization of the animals by Campylobacter species. Cecal feces samples were taken weekly from 9 to 18 weeks of age. Samples were frozen on dry ice and stored frozen until total DNA was extracted using the Qbiogene FastDNA Kit. Real-time PCR was performed to determine the presence and ratio of C. jejuni and C. coli throughout the experimental timecourse. ARISA was performed by PCR amplification of the bacterial intergenic regions. PCR products were resolved on an ABI3100 sequence analyzer and fragment sizes between 100 and 800 bp were calculated using the GeneMapper v3.5 software. An Excel data analysis program was written allowing data comparisons between samples. The program scaled all data, identified bands different from background, counted peak numbers, and calculated Sorensen's Index for all samples. Results: Bacterial community profiles changed throughout the experiment, with an apparent cyclical increase and decrease of ARISA band numbers including a trough at week 11, peak at week 15, followed by a subsequent decrease. ARISA patterns were more similar for any bird at a given timepoint to those of his cohorts than it was for the identical animal in preceding or following weeks, although this pattern began to break down after week 13. A shift was observed for five of the six birds between weeks 12 and 13 from a C. jejuni-predominant community to a C. coli predominant community. At this time the reason for the shift is unknown. Conclusions: Intestinal prevalence of Campylobacter in turkeys at slaughter is estimated to approach 90% and represents a significant public health threat. To date, no controls excluding strict biosecurity of flocks have been identified for this pathogen. This work identifies ecological patterns that need to be addressed for the understanding and control of foodborne pathogens in the developing intestine of the turkey.