Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Bailey, J.S., Wilson, J.L., Hiett, K.L. 2006. Detection of campylobacter jejuni in various lymphoid-origins of broiler breeder hens after oral or intra-vaginal inoculation. Poultry Science. 85:(8) 1378-1382.
Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter is a foodborne pathogen associated with poultry. Little is known about the level and persistence of this organism inside adult breeder bird organs. In this study, we found that Campylobacter travels to different organs inside the bird. The movement of Campylobacter to internal organs following different routes of inoculation may be significant; particularly if they persist in these organs as reservoirs throughout the 65 week life cycle and as such play a role in the egg transmission of this human pathogen.
Technical Abstract: Two studies were conducted to determine if Campylobacter jejuni could rapidly spread and reside in the internal organs of adult broiler breeder hens. In study 1, university housed broiler breeders at 22 weeks of age were obtained and placed in individual cages. Each hen was intra-vaginally inoculated weekly from 23 to 32 weeks of age with a characterized strain of Campylobacter jejuni. Four days post-inoculation at weeks 23, 27, and 32, hens were euthanized, de-feathered and aseptically opened. In study 2, university housed broiler breeder hens were obtained at 42, 53, and 56 weeks of age, placed in individual cages and inoculated either orally or intra-vaginally with a characterized strain of Campylobacter jejuni. To reduce the possibility of cross-contamination between samples, the thymus, spleen, and liver/gallbladder were aseptically removed, prior to the ceca. In both studies, all samples were individually analyzed. In study 1, at 23 weeks of age Campylobacter jejuni were recovered from 4/7 thymus, 2/7 spleens, 5/7 liver/gallbladders, and 6/7 ceca. At 27 weeks of age, Campylobacter jejuni were recovered from 1/7 thymus and 1/7 ceca. At 32 weeks of age, Campylobacter jejuni were recovered from 4/11 thymus, 1/11 liver/gallbladders, and 2/11 ceca. In study 2, Campylobacter jejuni were recovered from 2/6 thymus and 5/6 ceca after oral inoculation and 1/6 spleen, 1/6 liver/gallbladders, and 4/6 ceca after vaginal inoculation of 43 week old hens. Campylobacter jejuni were recovered from 2/5 thymus, 3/5 spleen, 3/5 liver/gallbladders and 2/5 ceca after oral inoculation of 53 week old hens and 1/5 thymus, and 1/5 liver/gallbladders after vaginal inoculation. Campylobacter jejuni were recovered from 1/4 thymus, 2/4 liver/gallbladders, and 1/4 ceca and was not detected in any vaginally inoculated birds of 56 week old hens. This study provides evidence that Campylobacter jejuni can reside in the internal organs of broiler breeder hens following oral or intra-vaginal inoculation.