Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #261997

Title: Isolation of campylobacter from circulating blood of commercial broilers

item RICHARDSON, L - Former ARS Employee
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item HARRISON, M - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2011
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Citation: Richardson, L.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Buhr, R.J., Harrison, M.A. 2011. Isolation of campylobacter from circulating blood of commercial broilers. Avian Diseases. 55(3):375-378.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter spp. are a major cause of human bacterial gastroenteritis in the U.S. and poultry products have been implemented as a significant infection source. In order for better intervention strategies to be implemented pre-harvest, an increased understanding of Campylobacter spp. ecology in poultry flocks and within birds has to be attained. The aim of the current study was to determine whether Campylobacter spp. are in circulating blood of commercial broilers. C. jejuni was recovered from the circulating blood of market age commercial broilers. The significance is that C. jejuni recovery from the circulating blood provides insight into a possible means of rapid dissemination to tissues and suggests that Campylobacter spp. are not strictly limited to the lumens of the digestive tracts.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter sp. are present in organs and tissues of broiler chickens but the dissemination route is unclear. The aim of the current study was to determine Campylobacter prevalence within circulating blood of commercial broilers. Broilers were acquired from 19 flocks originating from three commercial poultry processing companies. Using aseptic blood collection techniques, 5ml of circulating blood was collected from each bird and the sample analyzed for Campylobacter. Campylobacter colonization status of each bird was determined by aseptically sampling and analyzing the ceca. Campylobacter was recovered from 11/19 flocks sampled. From the 248 total birds sampled, 12% and 46% of the birds had Campylobacter in the blood and ceca, respectively. This study documents Campylobacter prevalence in circulating blood of commercially raised broilers. Campylobacter presence in the circulatory system may indicate the path used by the organism for rapid dissemination to organs and tissues. From a processing view point, Campylobacter presence in circulating blood of market age broilers may increase likelihood of cross-contamination between birds during slaughter