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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 #313647

Title: Evaluation of filter-plating methods for simplified detection of Campylobacter associated with broiler cecal samples

item Line, John
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item Meinersmann, Richard - Rick
item Oakley, Brian

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2015
Publication Date: 7/25/2015
Citation: Line, J.E., Berrang, M.E., Cox Jr, N.A., Meinersmann, R.J., Oakley, B. 2015. Evaluation of filter-plating methods for simplified detection of Campylobacter associated with broiler cecal samples. International Association for Food Protection. 78(Suppl.A):233.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: Campylobacter is natural member of the gut microflora in many commercial broilers and as such can become a contaminant on edible surfaces during processing. Culturing gut contents or feces can be a means to determine flock status prior to live-haul. However, the wide variety of non-Campylobacter background bacteria in these complex samples contaminate growth media and can make it very difficult to isolate Campylobacter. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the detection of Campylobacter from broiler cecal samples by surface plating with and without the addition of a 0.45 µm filter on three different selective agars. Methods: We cultured cecal contents from 100 commercial broiler flocks and carcass rinses from 50 of those flocks over the course of 17 months. Campylobacter was recovered on three different selective media: Campy-Cefex Agar, Campy-Line Agar and RF-Campylobacter jejuni/coli agar. For cecal contents, each medium was tested with and without the additional selection of a 0.45 µm filter. Filters were laid on the agar surface and the diluted sample was placed directly onto the filter. After the sample had dried, filters were removed and all plates (filtered and direct) were incubated at 42oC under microaerobic conditions for 48 h. Results: We found about half (52%) of the tested flocks were positive for Campylobacter; positive flocks were detected during each month of the year. Overall, the Campylobacter status of cecal contents from one carcass was predictive of the status of a carcass rinse from the same flock. Placing a complex sample such as cecal contents onto a 0.45 µm filter improved the detection of Campylobacter by eliminating non-Campylobacter background colonies. Significance: These data suggest that detection of Campylobacter from the complex environment of broiler ceca is improved by surface plating methods utilizing a 0.45 µm filter which eliminates non-Campylobacter background flora.