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Title: Campylobacter Recovered from the Upper Oconee River Basin, Georgia, in a four-year study

item Meinersmann, Richard - Rick
item Berrang, Mark

Submitted to: Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2011
Publication Date: 8/28/2011
Citation: Meinersmann, R.J., Berrang, M.E. 2011. Campylobacter Recovered from the Upper Oconee River Basin, Georgia, in a four-year study. Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop. August 28-September 1, 2011. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: Waterways should be considered in the migration routes of Campylobacter and the genus has been isolated from several water sources. Inferences on migration routes can be made from tracking genetic types in populations found in the habitats and testing how they are linked to other types. Results: Water samples were taken over a 4-year period from the Upper Oconee River Watershed, Georgia, to recover isolates of thermophilic Campylobacter. The isolates were typed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and analyzed to determine the overall diversity of Campylobacter in that river environment. Forty-seven independent isolates were recovered out of approximately 560 samples. Two isolates were C. coli, 3 isolates were putatively identified as C. lari, and the remaining 42 were C. jejuni. The C. jejuni and C. coli isolates were typed by the Oxford MLST scheme. Thirty unique sequence types (STs) were identified including 13 STs not previously in the database. This included 24 novel alleles. Of the 17 previously described STs, 10 have been isolated from humans, 5 from environmental water and 5 from wild birds including geese. Seven sites had multiple positive samples and on two occasions the same ST was isolated, 18 months apart at one site and 9 months apart at another. The latter site also was positive on a third occasion, 27 months after the first collection, with an isolate that only differed at a single locus by 13 bases. The most common type was ST-61 (collected on two occasions 18 months apart) with four isolates and the most common clonal complex was CC179 with 9 isolates (collected on 5 occasions as much as 30 months apart). CC179 has been commonly associated with environmental water. Conclusion: In conclusion, although some Campylobacter STs that were found in the Oconee River demonstrat widespread migration, most are tightly associated or unique to environmental water sources.