Submitted to: Microbiology Resource Announcements
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2021
Publication Date: 3/18/2021
Citation: Gunther, N.W., Kanrar, S., Uhlich, G.A. 2021. Complete genomic sequences of Campylobacter coli strains isolated from poultry sold in Pennsylvania farmers’ markets. Microbiology Resource Announcements. Available online: Microbiol Resource Announcements 10:e00015-21. https://doi.org/10.1128/MRA.00015-21.
Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter are a major human pathogen responsible for causing the greatest number of foodborne bacterial infections annually in the developed world. Poultry products provides a significant path for the introduction of Campylobacter to humans through undercooked poultry or the cross contamination of other raw foods by uncooked poultry. As part of a previous survey of poultry products sold in farmer’s markets in Pennsylvania, 176 presumed Campylobacter isolates were collected. These isolates were analyzed to determine their species using a well-regarded method involving sequencing a specific portion of a single gene. For the first time in our experience four of the isolates could not be definitively identified using this method, producing sequences for the assay gene that differed from the other 172 Campylobacter isolates. Therefore, it was decided to fully sequence all of the genes of these four Campylobacter isolates to determine their species and if they differed genetically in other ways from other Campylobacter isolates. By comparing all of the genes in the individual strain genomes we were able to determine that these strain belonged to the Campylobacter coli species. Additionally, these four isolates each possessed a series of genes common to the most virulent strains of Campylobacter.
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter strains were collected as part of a survey study of fresh chicken carcasses sold in Pennsylvania farmers’ markets. Four Campylobacter coli strains from the survey were observed to have unique sequence variations in their gyrase subunit B genes compared to the other collected Campylobacter strains. The four strains were sequenced and analyzed to produce annotated whole genome sequences each consisting of a single closed chromosome.