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Title: Survey of Wild Birds in the Southeastern United States for the Presence of Emerging/Novel Campylobacter Species

item Hiett, Kelli
item Kuntz, Robin
item Stallknecht, David
item Luttrell, Page
item Wilcox, Ben
item Callicott, Kenneth
item Seal, Bruce

Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2005
Publication Date: 2/25/2006
Citation: Hiett, K.L., Kuntz, R.L., Stallknecht, D.E., Luttrell, P., Wilcox, B., Callicott, K., Seal, B.S. 2006. Survey of Wild Birds in the Southeastern United States for the Presence of Emerging/Novel Campylobacter Species. Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. p. 39.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are considered two major bacterial etiologies of human gastroenteritis in industrialized countries. Routine testing for Campylobacter in the food chain is primarily directed toward detection of these two species, thus the presence of novel Campylobacter species, and their relative contribution to human illness, is not well understood. A survey to determine the presence of Campylobacter spp. in wild birds was conducted in the Southeastern United States. Fecal samples were collected from 125 wild birds (66 herbivores and 59 omnivores) and tested for Campylobacter spp. using filtration onto BAB plates (Brucella Agar with Campy supplements and 10% laked horse blood). Plates were incubated at 37°C in an atmosphere containing 7.5%H2, 2.5% O2, 10% CO2, and 80% N2. No herbivorous bird samples were positive. Twelve samples from omnivorous birds, 1 starling (Sturnus vulgarious), 8 crows (Corvus spp.), 1 rock pigeon (Patagioenas spp.), and 2 gulls (Larus spp.), were Campylobacter spp. positive. Multiple colonies were picked from the positive plates such that a total of 77 colonies were analyzed. Individual colonies were characterized phenotypically using API Campy Strips (bioMerieux Inc., Durham, NC, USA) and genotypically using a multiplex PCR specific for C. jejuni, C. coli, C. fetus, C. lari, and C. upsaliensis. Additional genotypic analyses, including 16SrDNA sequence analysis and MLST analyses are ongoing. Campylobacter species identified thus far include C. jejuni, C. coli, C. upsaliensis, C. fetus, C. hyointestinalis, and C. mucosalis. However, some discrepancies were observed between identification using the API strips and identification using the multiplex PCR. MLST analysis will be used to further speciate the recovered isolates and may resolve the observed discrepancies. Information such as that obtained from this investigation is necessary to develop an understanding of the transmission of novel species of Campylobacter through the food chain and their subsequent contribution to human illness.