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J Appl Microbiol. 2001 Aug;91(2):255-67.

Campylobacter contamination in French chicken production from farm to consumers. Use of a PCR assay for detection and identification of Campylobacter jejuni and Camp. coli.

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Unité HQPAP, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Ploufragan, France.



Campylobacter contamination in French chicken production from the farm to the consumer was determined using a PCR assay for bacteria detection and identification.


Samples were bird droppings from poultry houses, neck skins, livers, hearts, gizzards, wings, legs and escalopes from slaughterhouses and gizzards, legs, drumstick, breast and escalopes from a supermarket. Bacterial DNA extraction was performed after an enrichment step in a broth and was followed by PCR. An internal control (IC) was used for both DNA extraction and PCR. Campylobacter were detected in 79.2% of poultry houses. Of the 303 samples, 201 were Campylobacter-positive (i.e. 66.3%) including 43.2% faecal samples, 5.6% slaughterhouse samples and 17.5% supermarket samples. There was no significant difference between the molecular method and the conventional culture technique for Campylobacter detection whatever the samples. The sensitivity was 5 UFC g(-1) of samples and 1.5 x 10(3) UFC ml(-1) of enrichment broth. The use of IC revealed PCR inhibition in 13 samples and problems in the DNA extraction in five samples.


Significant Campylobacter contamination affects all stages of French chicken production.


The understanding of Campylobacter contamination at different levels of chicken production and the determination of the best place(s) for intervention are important for significantly decreasing Campylobacteriosis. Our technique is rapid and can be used on different chicken samples for Campylobacter detection and identification.

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