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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Molecular Phylogeny of the Flaa Short Variable Region (Svr) among Campylobacter Spp Isolates Collected During An Annual Evaluatoin of Poultry Flocks in the Southeastern United States

item Hiett, Kelli
item Stern, Norman
item Cray, Paula
item Cox, Nelson
item Seal, Bruce

Submitted to: Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2007
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
Citation: Hiett, K.L., Stern, N.J., Cray, P.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Seal, B.S. 2007. Molecular phylogeny of the flaa short variable region (svr) among campylobacter spp isolates collected during an annual evaluatoin of poultry flocks in the southeastern united states. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 4(3):339-347.

Interpretive Summary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Campylobacter enteritis is a multi billion dollar disease and that the consumption of poultry is a primary source for clinical infections in humans. Therefore, understanding the pathways involved in Campylobacter spp. contamination of poultry is essential for the development of intervention strategies and the reduction of Campylobacter spp. in poultry. We sampled, isolated, and genetically characterized Campylobacter spp. from a wide variety of potential sources among 8 United States commercial broiler flocks. The temporal sequence of isolation, together with the genetic information, suggested that, for the most part, the broiler flocks provided Campylobacter spp. to the environment, rather than the environment contaminating the broilers. Upon completing the remaining data analysis we will be able to direct our intervention efforts to control the most important sources for broiler contamination.

Technical Abstract: A variety of Alabama poultry production and processing samples were tested for four seasons during one year for the presence of Campylobacter. A total of eight flocks from two different farms were analyzed. Recovered Campylobacter isolates were typed using flaA SVR DNA sequence analysis. Six of the eight production flocks tested (75%) were Campylobacter-positive. In general, multiple Campylobacter clones were present within a flock. Additionally, clones found within a flock were also present on the final product; however, in some cases, the population of Campylobacter clones on the final product appeared different to that observed within the production flock. Comparison of clones between flocks on the same farm revealed that some clones of Campylobacter presisted in multiple flocks. Environmental samples from seven of the eight farms tested (87.5%) were Campylobacter-positive. In one flock, one environmental sample was Campylobacter positive while the flock and the final product were negative. For the remaining six sampling periods, environmental samples were positive for Campylobacter concomitant with recovery of Campylobacter from the flocks. Analyses of environmental isolates demonstrated varied results, that in some instances the environmental isolates posessed identical genotypes to isolates recovered from the flock, while in other cases the environmental isolates posessed genotypes that were distantly related to isolates obtained from the flock. These data suggest that the external environment may contribute to Campylobacter contamination during poultry production and processing. However, environmental contamination with Campylobacter does not appear to be the sole contributing factor.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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