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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Microbial Ecology of Human Pathogens Relative to Poultry Processing

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance

Title: Evaluation of methods and plating media for detection of Campylobacter in ceca from 66 different broiler flocks across 11 months

Authors
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox, Nelson
item Meinersmann, Richard
item Oakley, Brian
item Cosby, Douglas

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2014
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Citation: Berrang, M.E., Cox Jr, N.A., Meinersmann, R.J., Oakley, B., Cosby, D.E. 2014. Evaluation of methods and plating media for detection of Campylobacter in ceca from 66 different broiler flocks across 11 months. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. July 14-17,2014. Corpus Christi, Texas.

Technical Abstract: The ceca of broilers can be colonized with Campylobacter. Due to high numbers of other bacteria present, detecting Campylobacter in cecal contents can be challenging. On each of 66 sample days from April 2013 through February 2014, a single cecum was collected from the evisceration line in a commercial broiler processing plant. Cecal contents were expressed, diluted and blended prior to plating. Plating was done on each of three different media: Campy-cefex agar (CCA), Campy-Line agar (CLA) and RF Campylobacter jejuni/C. coli chromogenic agar (RFCA). Each plating medium was inoculated using two methods: directly onto agar or through a 0.45µm nitrocellulose filter laid on the agar surface and removed once all liquid had passed through. Because of a high number of non-Campylobacter background colonies on media without filters, counting Campylobacter colonies was not always possible. Therefore plates were scored categorically by a single observer where 0 indicated no colonies and 1, 2 and 3 were assigned for low to high numbers of Campylobacter; a second score was assigned in the same way for numbers of non-Campylobacter background colonies. Campylobacter was detected in 32 of 66 flocks (48.5%). No temporal trend was noted, Campylobacter was detected in each month and on all media. CCA plates had more non-Campylobacter background growth than the other plates (mean count score of 2.86), making observation of characteristic colonies difficult in some cases. RFCA and CLA both had lower average count scores for number of background colonies (1.86 and 2.00 respectively). RFCA scored highest on detection of Campylobacter colonies with a mean count score of 1.14 compared to 0.43 for both CCA and CLA. Filter use was completely effective for control of non-Campylobacter background colonies. Zero non-Campylobacter colonies were detected from any filtered sample regardless of medium. Likewise, plating medium did not affect detection of Campylobacter colonies from filtered samples; the mean Campylobacter colony count score from each medium was 1.00. In general, RFCA performed better than CCA and CLA for detection of Campylobacter from cecal samples. However, the filter method was the most effective means tested for control of non-Campylobacter background colonies regardless of medium used.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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