Prevalence and characterization of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from pasture flock poultry.
ABSTRACT The growing interest in organic and natural foods warrants a greater need for information on the food safety of these products. In this study, samples were taken from 2 pasture flock farms (N = 178; feed, water, drag swabs, and insect traps), pasture flock retail carcasses (N = 48) and 1 pasture flock processing facility (N = 16) over a period of 8 mo. A total of 105 Campylobacter isolates were obtained from 53 (30%), 36 (75%), and 16 (100%) samples from the farms, retail carcasses, and processing facility, respectively. Of the 105 isolates collected, 65 were C. jejuni, 31 were C. coli, and 9 were other Campylobacter spp. Using PCR, the C. jejuni isolates were further analyzed for virulence genes involved in colonization and survival (flaA, flaC, cadF, dnaJ, racR, cbrR), invasion (virB11, ciaB, pldA), protection against harsh conditions (sodB, htrA, clpA), toxin production (cdtA, cdtB, cdtC), siderophore transport (ceuE), and ganglioside mimicry (wlaN). In addition, the short variable region of the flaA locus (flaA SVR) was sequenced to determine the genetic diversity of the C. jejuni isolates. The flaA SVR diversity indices increased along the farm to carcass continuum. PCR-based analysis indicated a low prevalence of 5 genes involved in colonization (dnaJ, ciaB, pldA, racR, virB11). The results of this survey indicate that the prevalence of Campylobacter on organic retail carcasses is similar to prevalence reports of Campylobacter on conventional retail carcasses. However, the genetic diversity of the flaA SVR genotypes increased along the farm to carcass continuum that contrasted with conventional poultry studies. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illness with poultry and poultry products being leading sources of infection. Free-range and pasture flock chickens are becoming more popular; however, there is an inherent biosecurity risk that can increase the prevalence of foodborne pathogens in these flocks. This study aimed to determine sources and characterize C. jejuni isolated from pasture flocks.
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ABSTRACT: Use of mixed crop-livestock farms (MCLFs) is one of the oldest and most traditional farming methods practiced all over the world, and MCLFs are still one of the major systems of food production, particularly for organic foods. On these typically small farms, livestock are reared primarily on grass and naturally grown crops, while composted animal wastes are used to fertilize the soil for growing crops. Specific to organic MCLFs, biosecurity challenges arise from the fact that animals are reared outdoors, which increases potential for contact with disease vectors including wild birds, rodents, and insects. Organic regulations do not allow the use of chemicals and antibiotics; therefore, alternative methods for control of disease and zoonotic pathogens must be used. Due to the biosecurity challenges and the complexity of the MCLF environment, methods for control of zoonotic pathogens need to be carefully considered in order to be effective and to abide by organic regulations if required. The objectives of this study are to define the complex routes of transmission, as well as the prevalence of potential zoonotic and possible interruption strategies of these pathogens among the food animals and crops produced on MCLFs. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.Poultry Science 01/2015; DOI:10.3382/ps/peu055 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Consumer demand for nonconventional poultry products continues to increase in the United States. In pasture flock and organic poultry production, probiotics and prebiotic feed additives have potential advantages because they are thought to promote intestinal health and may offer a replacement for current intervention strategies that are not considered acceptable for these production systems. Prebiotics have been demonstrated to produce effects on the gastrointestinal tract including modulation of microflora by promoting selective increases in beneficial bacteria concomitant with decreases in undesirable bacteria. In-depth assessment of microbial community changes during host growth and development as well as the establishment of beneficial microbial species by adding biologicals such as probiotics and prebiotics is important to achieve predictable and consistent improvements in chicken health and productivity. To analyze microflora shifts and metabolites produced by bacteria in the gut as well as host responses to biological additives, sophisticated molecular techniques are now available and are becoming more widely used. Polymerase chain reaction assays, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and temperature gradient gel electrophoresis offer approaches for detecting microbial shifts in the gut. Likewise, the employment of microarrays and molecular analysis of gut tissues can reveal insight into gut physiological and responses to dietary and other changes. Recent application of 16S rDNA sequencing and analysis utilizing basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) and FASTA databases on poultry gut samples have the potential to provide a much more in-depth assessment of the gut microbiome. Utilizing ultra pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy profiling, metabolomic assessment of gut contents will also allow for parallel comparisons of changes in the gut contents with microbiome and physiological responses. Combining all these technologies will provide a plenary understanding of poultry gut health in alternative production systems.Poultry Science 02/2013; 92(2):546-61. DOI:10.3382/ps.2012-02734 · 1.67 Impact Factor
Article: Food safety and organic meats.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The organic meat industry in the United States has grown substantially in the past decade in response to consumer demand for nonconventionally produced products. Consumers are often not aware that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards are based only on the methods used for production and processing of the product and not on the product's safety. Food safety hazards associated with organic meats remain unclear because of the limited research conducted to determine the safety of organic meat from farm-to-fork. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the published results on the microbiological safety of organic meats. In addition, antimicrobial resistance of microbes in organic food animal production is addressed. Determining the food safety risks associated with organic meat production requires systematic longitudinal studies that quantify the risks of microbial and nonmicrobial hazards from farm-to-fork.Review of Food Science and Technology 04/2012; 3:203-25. DOI:10.1146/annurev-food-022811-101158 · 5.98 Impact Factor