[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of bacterial food-borne infection in the industrial world. There is evidence that C. jejuni is present in eggs and hatchery fluff, opening the possibility for vertical transmission from hens to progeny. Poultry operations in Iceland provide an excellent opportunity to study this possibility, since breeding flocks are established solely from eggs imported from grandparent flocks in Sweden. This leaves limited opportunity for grandparents and their progeny to share isolates through horizontal transmission. While Campylobacter was not detected in all grandparent flocks, 13 of the 16 egg import lots consisted of eggs gathered from one or more Campylobacter-positive grandparent flocks. No evidence of Campylobacter was found by PCR in any of the 10 relevant quarantine hatchery fluff samples examined, and no Campylobacter was isolated from the parent birds through 8 weeks, while they were still in quarantine rearing facilities. After the birds were moved to less biosecure rearing facilities, Campylobacter was isolated, and 29 alleles were observed among the 224 isolates studied. While three alleles were found in both Sweden and Iceland, in no case was the same allele found both in a particular grandparent flock and in its progeny. We could find no evidence for vertical transmission of Campylobacter to the approximately 60,000 progeny parent breeders that were hatched from eggs coming from Campylobacter-positive grandparent flocks. If vertical transmission is occurring, it is not a significant source for the contamination of chicken flocks with Campylobacter spp.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To access publisher full text version of this article. Please click on the hyperlink in Additional Links field Isolates of Campylobacter jejuni shipped internationally often arrive in a noncultivable state. We describe a PCR-based methodology whereby phylogenetic information can be recovered from noncultivable C. jejuni stored in Wang's transport medium. The robustness of this methodology was initially tested using 5 previously characterized strains of C. jejuni isolated from various sources associated with poultry production. These isolates were stored in Wang's transport medium before being subjected to 1 of 5 treatments designed to render the stored cells noncultivable: prolonged storage at room temperature, prolonged incubation at 42 degrees C, multiple rounds of freezing and thawing, boiling, or contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853). This method resulted in DNA appropriate for PCR. An approximately 400-nucleotide amplicon from the flaA gene and an approximately 800-nucleotide amplicon from 16S rDNA were readily obtained, and a 1.5-kb section of the flaA locus was amplified from about half of the samples. These results indicate that this method may be useful for isolate typing schemes based on PCR amplification of Campylobacter DNA, including flaA short variable region (flaA SVR) sequencing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and flaA PCR-RFLP. By using this method, isolates unrecoverable from transport medium can still be used to provide phylogenetic information for epidemiological studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the observed relationship of campylobacter in poultry operations to human cases in a closed environment. During 1999 in Iceland, domestic cases of campylobacteriosis reached peak levels at 116/100,000 and in 2000 dropped to 33/100,000. Approximately 62% of broiler carcass rinses were contaminated with Campylobacter spp. in 1999. During 2000, only 15% of the broiler flocks tested Campylobacter spp. positive. In 2000, carcasses from flocks which tested positive on the farms at 4 weeks of age were subsequently frozen prior to distribution. We suggest that public education, enhanced on-farm biological security measures, carcass freezing and other unidentified factors, such as variations in weather, contributed to the large reduction in poultry-borne campylobacteriosis. There is no immediate basis for assigning credit to any specific intervention. We continue to seek additional information to understand the decline in campylobacteriosis and to create a risk assessment model for Campylobacter spp. transmission through this well defined system.
Epidemiology and Infection 03/2003; 130(1):23-32. DOI:10.1017/S0950268802007914 · 2.54 Impact Factor