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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Campylobacter can remain in various organs

item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Richardson, Larry
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: World Poultry
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Cray, P.J. 2009. Campylobacter can remain in various organs. World Poultry. 25(12):28-29.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Day old broiler chicks were obtained from a commercial hatchery and inoculated either orally or intracloacally with a characterized strain of Campylobacter jejuni. After 1 hr, 1day and 1wk post inoculation, the thymus, spleen, liver/gallbladder, bursa of Fabricius and ceca were aseptically removed and individually analyzed for C. jejuni. Overall, C. jejuni were recovered from 7.5%, 6.3%, 7.5%, 35% and 40% of the thymus, spleen, liver/gallbladder, bursa and ceca samples, respectively. From the 1hr, 1 day and 1 wk samples analyzed, C. jejuni were recovered from 22.7%, 12.7%, and 22%, respectively. After we had demonstrated that inoculated Campylobacter rapidly translocated to the lymphoid organs of young broiler chicks, we decided to investigate whether this microorganism would be naturally present in the internal tissues of market age broilers. Two different market-age (6 and 8 wk old) broilers were obtained from two commercial poultry operations and brought to the laboratory for analysis. Necropsy was limited to the removal of the spleen, liver/gallbladder and ceca using aseptic techniques. From fifty-two 6-wk-old broilers Campylobacter were found in 36.5% of the spleen and liver/gallbladder samples and 50% of the ceca. From 80 of the 8-wk-old broilers, Campylobacter were found in 3.75% of the liver/gallbladders, 6.25% of the spleens and 23.75% of the ceca samples. The internal organs of the younger (6 wk) broilers were more heavily contaminated than those of the 8 wk birds. All of the Campylobacter isolates were found to be Campylobacter jejuni. There is no doubt that Campylobacter are naturally present in the internal tissues of market age broilers. The significance of these reservoirs is yet to be determined but could play a role in the microbiology of the intestinal tract and hence the final food product.

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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