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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENOMICS OF FOODBORNE PATHOGENS

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: Clonal population structure and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter jejuni from chicken meat in Belgium

Authors
item Habib, Ihab - GHENT UNIVERSITY
item Miller, William
item Uyttendaele, Mieke - GHENT UNIVERSITY
item Houf, Kurt - GHENT UNIVERSITY
item Dezutter, Lieven - GHENT UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 27, 2009
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
Citation: Habib, I., Miller, W.G., Uyttendaele, M., Houf, K., Dezutter, L. 2009. Clonal population structure and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter jejuni from chicken meat in Belgium. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 75(13):4264-4272.

Interpretive Summary: The human pathogen Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of human food-borne illness. Treatment of Campylobacter-related illnesses relies often on antibiotics, so increasing resistances of Campylobacters towards clinical antimicrobials is a major health concern. Campylobacter jejuni is often transmitted through consumption of undercooked or improperly handled chicken meat. This study typed C. jejuni strains isolated from chicken meat in Belgium and screened these isolates for antibiotic resistance. The majority of strains were antibiotic-resistant, notably to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline and some strains were resistant to multiple antibiotics. Typing of the isolates indicated that drug resistances correlated with certain C. jejuni groups: one group was frequently drug resistant while another group was generally drug susceptible. Certain C. jejuni types were found often among the Belgian chicken isolates.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most important causes of human diarrhea worldwide. In the present work, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was used to study the genotypic diversity of 145 C. jejuni isolates from 135 chicken meat preparations sampled across Belgium. Isolates were further typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and their susceptibility to 6 antimicrobials was determined. Fifty-seven sequence types (STs) were identified; 26.8% of the total typed isolates were ST-50, ST-45, or ST-257, of the clonal complexes CC-21, CC-45 and CC-257, respectively. One clonal group contained 22% (32/145) of all isolates, originated from five different companies and was isolated over 7 sampling months. Additionally, 53.1% of C. jejuni isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, and 48.2% were resistant to tetracycline; 42 isolates (28.9%) were resistant to both ciprofloxacin and tetracycline. Correlation between certain C. jejuni clonal groups and resistance to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline was notable. C. jejuni isolates assigned to CC-21 (n = 35) were frequently resistant to ciprofloxacin (65.7%) and tetracycline (40%); however, 87.5% (21/24) of the isolates assigned to CC-45 were pansusceptible. The present study demonstrates that certain C. jejuni genotypes are frequently recurrent in the chicken meat supply. Results from molecular typing, combined with data on sample sources, indicate a possible dissemination of C. jejuni clones characterised with high resistance to ciprofloxacin and/or tetracycline. Whether certain clonal groups are common in the environment and repeatedly infect Belgian broiler flocks or whether they have the potential to persist on farms or in slaughterhouses needs further investigation.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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