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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #292832

Title: Characterization of Campylobacter jejuni and coli strains isolated in turkeys

item CRESPO-RODRIGUEZ, MARIA - North Carolina State University
item KATHARIOU, SOPHIA - North Carolina State University
item GRIMES, JESSE - North Carolina State University
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item SMITH, DOUG - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: associated with significant foodborne disease. Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are the two most prevalent species contributing to human diarrheal disease. The objective of this study was to determine the routes of transmission for Campylobacter throughout turkey production and processing. A flock of 140 turkey breeder poults was placed in a growout house after the housing environment was sanitized and tested for Campylobacter presence. Poults were separated by sex, then separated further into Treatment (82 females and 22 males) and Control (28 females and 8 males) groups and placed in different sides of the house. Treatment birds were inoculated via gavage at 10 days old and 12 weeks old with a marker Campylobacter strain; C. coli 12456 (resistant to gentamicin and kanamycin) was administered to females, and C. jejuni 10882 (resistant to tetracycline, streptomycin, kanamycin and quinolones) was given to males. Fecal droppings were analyzed weekly. Marker strain C. jejuni from inoculated males was isolated from feces in 100% of female pens 3 weeks after inoculation, and the female marker strain C. coli was isolated from 100% male pens at the same time. Both marker strains were isolated in 100% of control bird pens, both males and females. Marker strains persisted for only 1 to 6 weeks before descending below detection levels. Wild (non-marker) strains of Campylobacter were isolated in 100% control and treatment bird pens 9 weeks after inoculation. The most frequent wild isolates found in Treatment and Control groups, in both females and males, from fecal droppings were C. jejuni (tetracycline resistant) and C. coli (kanamycin resistant). Wild Campylobacter strains persisted throughout the remainder of the study. Results indicate Campylobacter spreads rapidly and cross-contaminates turkeys throughout the growout house and wild strains may outcompete marker strains.