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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF PATHOGENS AND THEIR RESPONSES TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Location: Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens

Title: Detection of Campylobacter from Poultry Carcasses at Slaughter and Differentiation of Campylobacter Jejuni and Campylobacter Coli by Multiplex Pcr

Authors
item Pepe, Tiziana - UNIV. OF NAPLES
item Dominicis, Rosaria - UNIV. OF NAPLES
item Esposito, Giuseppina - UNIV. OF NAPLES
item Demarco, Isolina - UNIV. OF NAPLES
item Fratamico, Pina
item Cortesi, Maria - UNIV. OF NAPLES

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2009
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Citation: Pepe, T., Dominicis, R., Esposito, G., Demarco, I., Fratamico, P.M., Cortesi, M.L. 2009. DETECTION OF CAMPYLOBACTER FROM POULTRY CARCASSES AT SLAUGHTER AND DIFFERENTIATION OF CAMPYLOBACTER JEJUNI AND CAMPYLOBACTER COLI BY MULTIPLEX PCR. Journal of Food Protection. 72(8):1718-1721.

Interpretive Summary: The bacterium known as Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States and worldwide. Different species of Campylobacter are carried in the intestinal tract of mammals and birds, and sources of human infection include contaminated water, direct contact with pets, and foods, particularly poultry. Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli, are the species that account for the majority of human infections. The aim of the research was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in 190 poultry carcasses tested at slaughter and to use a method known as a multiplex polymerase chain reaction to determine if the Campylobacter isolated from the poultry were Campylobacter jejuni or C. coli. C. jejuni was recovered from 52 out of 140 carcasses examining different areas on the carcass, and C. coli was not isolated from any of the carcasses. This study also demonstrated that C. jejuni can be recovered more frequently from certain areas of the carcass compared to others. The results are in agreement with those of other studies, which showed that C. jejuni is more commonly associated with poultry compared to C. coli. Furthermore, the research underscores that control strategies for Campylobacter should include interventions to eliminate C. jejuni in poultry at various stages of production and processing, including at slaughter.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter is a major food-borne pathogen responsible for acute gastroenteritis characterized by diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody, fever, cramps, and vomiting. Campylobacter species are carried in the intestinal tract of mammals and birds, and sources of human infection include contaminated water, direct contact with pets, and foods, particularly poultry. Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are the species that account for the majority of human infections. The aim of this work was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in 190 poultry carcasses sampled at slaughter and to use a multiplex PCR assay to determine if the isolates were Campylobacter jejuni or C. coli. C. coli was not isolated, while C. jejuni was recovered from 52 out of 140 carcasses (37.1%) for which pools of four sampling sites (neck, cloaca, breast, back) were examined. In the remaining 50 carcasses, the four sites were analyzed separately, and C. jejuni was recovered from the samples in the following order: neck (n=20); cloaca (n=16); breast (n=14); and back (n=11). The results are in agreement with those of other studies, which showed that C. jejuni is more commonly associated with poultry compared to C. coli. Control strategies for Campylobacter should include interventions to eliminate C. jejuni in poultry at various stages of production and processing, including at slaughter.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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