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Avian Dis. 2000 Oct-Dec;44(4):983-8.

Sequential spread of Campylobacter infection in a multipen broiler house.

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Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Weybridge), New Haw, Addlestone Surrey, United Kingdom.


Generally, colonization with Campylobacter jejuni is first detected in broilers 2-3 wk after hatching. Once introduced into a flock, this infection spreads very rapidly. The sources and routes of transmission of C. jejuni in broilers remain debatable. In this study, the spread of infection was monitored in a commercial multipen broiler house in which birds were contained in discrete groups and sampled sequentially. Colonization was monitored in two broiler flocks up to slaughter. Serotyping and fla typing methods were applied to differentiate all the C. jejuni strains isolated. In flock 1, colonization was first detected at 32 days of age in birds located at the rear of the house. By 40 days, nearly all the birds were infected with the same strain (fla type 1.9). However, at 46 days of age, a second strain (fla type 3.7) was detected in some of the birds. These birds were also located toward the rear of the house. In flock 2, infection was detected at 5 wk of age. This infection was once again first detected in birds located at the rear of the house. In this flock, only a single fla type (1.1) was isolated throughout. A survey of the broiler house relative to the location of first point of infection indicated the use of an entrance door unprotected by boot dips. However, securing this door during the second flock study did not prevent infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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