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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 #311126

Title: Recovery of Campylobacter from external and internal spleen samples from baby broiler chicks following various routes of inoculation

item Cox Jr, Nelson
item RICHARDSON, LARRY - Coca-Cola Company
item Cosby, Douglas
item Berrang, Mark
item HARRISON, MARK - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Journal of Food Safety
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2015
Publication Date: 8/16/2015
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Cosby, D.E., Berrang, M.E., Harrison, M.A. 2015. Recovery of Campylobacter from external and internal spleen samples from baby broiler chicks following various routes of inoculation. Journal of Food Safety. 36(1):132-135.

Interpretive Summary: When a bird is necropsied, there are several sources that can conceivably contaminate the external surfaces of an assortment of organs and tissues. Therefore it is important to have a reliable method to sample the inside of an organ i.e., the spleen without the presence of the target organism coming from other sources. Finding Campylobacter inside of the spleen means that the organism was systemic and colonized the spleen. We are currently investigating routes of entrance and the significance of the translocation of Campylobacter to various primary and secondary lymphoid organs and reliable sampling methods necessary to prevent misinterpretation of data.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter species have been recovered from the lymphoid tissues of avian species. However, whether the bacteria are located internally in these tissues has not been determined. The objectives of the present study were to 1) develop a method to sample the inside and outside of the spleen and 2) determine if Campylobacter can be recovered from the internal tissue of the spleen. Five experiments were conducted, each using day of age broiler chicks inoculated by different routes with Campylobacter jejuni. Two days post-inoculation, necropsy was preformed and the spleen and ceca were aseptically removed from each bird, placed into sterile sampling bags, packed on ice and transported to the laboratory for evaluation. For external (ES) spleen sampling, 3 mL of Bolton’s enrichment broth was added to each spleen sample, shaken for 30 s, the spleen aseptically removed from the bag and the Bolton’s broth incubated in a microaerophillic environment at 42 C. For internal (IS) spleen sampling, the spleen removed from the Bolton’s broth was submerged into 70% ethanol solution for 10 s, removed and submerged into a saline solution to detect sterilization ability of the immersion technique. The spleen was next placed into a sterile sampling bag, macerated, 3 mL of Bolton’s enrichment broth added, stomached for 30 s before incubation according to standard laboratory procedures. All samples (ES, IS, ethanol and saline solutions), and the correlating ceca were evaluated for the recovery of Campylobacter species. Overall, Campylobacter was recovered from 75% (82/109) of the ES samples, 71% (77/109) of the IS samples and from 100% (109/109) of the ceca. Furthermore, ethanol and saline samples were negative for Campylobacter suggesting that the ethanol immersion method is a good sterilization method of the external surface of the spleen. With Campylobacter residing on the external surface and in the internal tissue of the spleen, the organisms could be systemic inside the bird. Further research will determine the mechanisms required for this bacterium to colonize these different tissue types.