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Title: Wide but variable distribution of a hypervirulent Campylobacter jejuni clone in beef and dairy cattle in the united states

item TANG, Y - Iowa State University
item Meinersmann, Richard - Rick
item SAHIN, O - Iowa State University
item WU, Z - Iowa State University
item DAI, L - Iowa State University
item CARLSON, J - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Plumblee Lawrence, Jodie
item Genzlinger, Linda
item LEJEUNE, J - The Ohio State University
item ZHANG, Q - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/2017
Publication Date: 12/1/2017
Citation: Tang, Y., Meinersmann, R.J., Sahin, O., Wu, Z., Dai, L., Carlson, J., Plumblee Lawrence, J.R., Genzlinger, L.L., Lejeune, J., Zhang, Q. 2017. Wide but variable distribution of a hypervirulent Campylobacter jejuni clone in beef and dairy cattle in the united states. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83(24):e01425-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01425-17.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter jejuni is known to be a leading cause of diarrheal disease in humans. It is commonly found in farm animals in which it is usually harmless. However, a lineage of the organism was recently discovered that has been shown to be responsible for infectious abortions in ruminants. This lineage is called the SA clone for "sheep abortion." This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of the clone in beef and dairy cattle and to see if controlling on-farm starlings would affect the prevalence. SA clone types accounted for 5.8% of the beef isolates and 7.2% of the dairy isolates. SA clone was infrequently found in starlings, but it is clear that the birds can be a carrier. This manuscript provides critical information that can be used to control an important pathogen.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni is a significant concern for ruminant health and food safety. Recently, a highly pathogenic C. jejuni clone (named SA) has emerged as the predominant cause of ruminant abortion and a significant cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States. Despite the recent advance in understanding pathogenesis of clone SA, little is known about its distribution and epidemiological features in cattle, which hinders the control of this emergent pathogen. Here we describe a prospective study on C. jejuni clone SA prevalence in 35 different feedlots in different states and a retrospective analysis of clone SA in dairy cows collected by NAHMS Dairy Studies 2002, 2007 and 2014. In feedlot cattle, the overall prevalence of Campylobacter was 72.2% and 82.1% of the isolates were C. jejuni. Clone SA accounted for 5.8% of the total C. jejuni isolates, but its prevalence varied with feedlots and states. Interestingly, starlings on the feedlots harbored C. jejuni including clone SA, suggesting it plays a role in the transmission of Campylobacter. In dairy cattle, the overall prevalence of clone SA was 7.2%, but a declining trend in the prevalence was detected from 2002 to 2014. Whole genomic sequence analysis of the dairy clone SA isolates revealed that it is genetically stable over the years and most of the isolates carried the tetracycline resistance tet(O) gene in the chromosome. These findings indicate clone SA is widely distributed in both beef and dairy cattle and provide new insights into the molecular epidemiology of clone SA in ruminants.