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J Food Prot. 2008 Nov;71(11):2295-300.

Baseline Campylobacter prevalence at a new turkey production facility in North Dakota.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105, USA.


Campylobacter jejuni isolates (n = 340) were collected from nine turkey flocks in three rotations (A, B, and C) at a newly established turkey production facility in North Dakota and at processing. Samples were collected at weeks 1, 4, 9, and 18, as well as at two stages on the processing line at the processing plant. Campylobacter was not isolated from the first flocks in the rotations (A1, B1, and C1), but was detected at week 18 in the second flock groupings and at week 9 in the third flock groupings. The cumulative increase in Campylobacter prevalence observed in each subsequent rotation was attributed to flock rotation through the brooder barn, in which each flock was housed for 4 weeks before moving to a finishing barn; the brooder was the only common building shared by all flocks in each grouping (A, B, and C). C. jejuni isolates recovered were analyzed for the presence of selected virulence genes; 100% of the isolates tested were positive for the flaA, pldA, and cadF genes; 99.7% of the isolates were positive for the cdtB, cdtC, and ciaB genes. The prevalence of the cdtA and cjp05 genes was much lower at 11.2 and 67.5%, respectively. Results of this study indicate flock rotation may increase Campylobacter prevalence; molecular characterization provided information about Campylobacter from a new turkey production facility.

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