Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli in Finnish poultry production

Päivikki Perko-Mäkelä

Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaArtikkelikokoelma


Campylobacter, mainly Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli, are worldwide recognized as a major cause of bacterial food-borne gastroenteritis (World Health Organization 2010). Epidemiological studies have shown handling or eating of poultry to be significant risk factors for human infections. Campylobacter contamination can occur at all stages of a poultry meat production cycle. In summer 1999, every broiler flock from all three major Finnish poultry slaughterhouses was studied during a five month period. Caecal samples were taken in the slaughterhouses from five birds per flock. A total of 1 132 broiler flocks were tested and 33 (2.9%) of those were Campylobacter-positive. Thirty-one isolates were identified as C. jejuni and two isolates were C. coli. The isolates were serotyped for heat-stable antigens (HS) and genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The most common serotypes found were HS 6,7, 12 and 4-complex. Using a combination of SmaI and KpnI patterns, 18 different PFGE types were identified. Thirty-five Finnish C. jejuni strains with five SmaI/SacII PFGE types selected among human and chicken isolates from 1997 and 1998 were used for comparison of their PFGE patterns, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) patterns, HaeIII ribotypes, and HS serotypes. The discriminatory power of PFGE, AFLP and ribotyping with HaeIII were shown to be at the same level for this selected set of strains, and these methods assigned the strains into the same groups. The PFGE and AFLP patterns within a genotype were highly similar, indicating genetic relatedness. An HS serotype was distributed among different genotypes, and different serotypes were identified within one genotype. From one turkey parent flock, the hatchery, six different commercial turkey farms (together 12 flocks) and from 11 stages at the slaughterhouse a total of 456 samples were collected during one and the half year. For the detection of Campylobacter both conventional culture and a PCR method were used. No Campylobacter were detected in either of the samples from the turkey parent flock or from the hatchery samples using the culture method. Instead PCR detected DNA of Campylobacter in five faecal samples from the turkey parent flock and in one fluff and an eggshell sample. Six out of 12 commercial turkey flocks were found negative at the farm level but only two of those were negative at slaughter. Campylobacter-positive samples within the flock at slaughter were detected between 0% and 94%, with evisceration and chilling water being the most critical stages for contamination. All of a total of 121 Campylobacter isolates were shown to be C. jejuni using a multiplex PCR assay. PFGE analysis of all isolates with KpnI restriction enzyme resulted in 11 PFGE types (I-XI) and flaA-SVR typing yielded nine flaA-SVR alleles. Three Campylobacter-positive turkey flocks were colonized by a limited number of Campylobacter genotypes both at the farm and slaughter level.In conclusion, in our first study in 1999 a low prevalence of Campylobacter in Finnish broiler flocks was detected and it has remained at a low level during the study period until the present. In the turkey meat production, we found that flocks which were negative at the farm became contaminated with Campylobacter at the slaughter process. These results suggest that proper and efficient cleaning and disinfection of slaughter and processing premises are needed to avoid cross-contamination. Prevention of colonization at the farm by a high level of biosecurity control and hygiene may be one of the most efficient ways to reduce the amount of Campylobacter-positive poultry meat in Finland. In Finland, with a persistent low level of Campylobacter-positive flocks, it could be speculated that the use of logistic slaughtering, according to Campylobacter status at farm, might have be advantageous in reducing Campylobacter contamination of retail poultry products. However, the significance of the domestic poultry meat for human campylobacteriosis in Finland should be evaluated.
Painoksen ISBN978-952-225-091-9
Sähköinen ISBN978-952-225-092-6
TilaJulkaistu - 2011
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Tohtorinväitöskirja (artikkeli)


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