Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In the United States, Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of human foodborne enteritis. Approximately 2.1 million cases occur annually at an estimated cost of $1 billion. Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are often not differentiated and are simply reported as C. jejuni/C. coli. We have previously described a multiplex PCR which bypasses biochemical tests to detect and to differentiate C. jejuni and C. coli in livestock feces and foods. The purpose of this pilot study was to track the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in pigs in Iowa (n=240 pigs) and North Carolina (n=240 pigs) from the nursery to slaughter. Four farms were studied from each state. For Iowa, C. coli was detected in fecal samples collected at the nursery (90.2%), grower (96%), finisher (93.8%) stages, and within 48 hrs prior to the slaughter (93.8%). At slaughter, overall C. coli was found in 9% of carcass swabs and in 82.75% of ileocaecal lymph nodes. For North Carolina, overall C. coli was detected at the nursery (89%), grower (89%),finisher (88%) stages, and 48 hrs prior to slaughter (90%). For the North Carolina hogs, C. coli was found on 25.2% of carcass swabs. Ileocaecal lymph nodes were not tested for the North Carolina hogs. When data from carcass swabs collected in Iowa (9%) and North Carolina (25.2%) were averaged (17.1%), the overall prevalence of Campylobacter present on hog carcasses was less than the 33% reported by the Food Safety Inspection Service in the 1996 national baseline study. This study demonstrates the widespread distribution of Campylobacter throughout all stages of hog production. It also indicates the ease of detecting Campylobacter in livestock when PCR methods are employed.