Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology ResearchTitle: Strain-specific differences in survival of Campylobacter spp. in naturally-contaminated turkey feces and water
|GOOD, LESLEY - North Carolina State University|
|Miller, William - Bill|
|NIEDERMEYER, JEFFREY - North Carolina State University|
|OSBORNE, JASON - North Carolina State University|
|SILETZKY, ROBIN - North Carolina State University|
|CARVER, DONNA - North Carolina State University|
|KATHARIOU, SOPHIA - North Carolina State University|
Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2019
Publication Date: 10/30/2019
Citation: Good, L., Miller, W.G., Niedermeyer, J., Osborne, J., Siletzky, R.M., Carver, D., Kathariou, S. 2019. Strain-specific differences in survival of Campylobacter spp. in naturally-contaminated turkey feces and water. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 85:e01579-19. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01579-19.
Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter are commonly associated with human foodborne illness. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the primary campylobacters that cause human illness and transmission is often via contaminated poultry products, such as turkeys. This study investigated the survival of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli strains in turkey feces and in suspensions of turkey feces in water. The strains were also characterized for antibiotic resistance and further typed to identify unique strains and clusters of related strains. Campylobacter strains were recovered from both materials for at least 16 days. This study also identified strain differences, with some strains showing a greater level of survival in feces. The results of this study will assist in characterizing the movement of Campylobacter and multi-drug-resistant Campylobacter through the turkey production system.
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are leading causes of human foodborne illness with poultry as major vehicle. Turkeys are frequently colonized with Campylobacter, but little is known about Campylobacter survival in turkey feces, even though fecal droppings are major vehicles for within-flock transmission as well as environmental dissemination of these pathogens. Our objective was to examine survival of Campylobacter, including different strains of Campylobacter coli and C. jejuni, in freshly-excreted feces from turkey flocks colonized with these strains and in suspensions of turkey feces in water from the turkey house. Feces and water suspensions were stored at 4°C and Campylobacter populations were enumerated on selective media at 48-h intervals. C. jejuni and C. coli isolates were characterized for resistance to a panel of antibiotics and subtyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. Campylobacter was recovered from feces and water for up to 16 days. Analysis of 548 isolates (128 C. jejuni and 330 C coli) revealed that C. jejuni survived longer than C. coli in feces (p = 0.0005), while the reverse was observed in water (p < 0.0001). Strain-specific differences in survival were noted. Multidrug-resistant C. jejuni of ST-1839 and the related ST-2935 were among the longest-surviving isolates in feces, being recovered for up to 10-16 days, while multi-drug resistant C. coli of ST-1101 was only recovered from feces up to 4 days. Data on Campylobacter survival upon excretion from the birds will be useful in elucidating transmission dynamics of this pathogen in the poultry production ecosystem.