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Int J Food Microbiol. 2003 Dec 31;89(2-3):233-40.

Resistance patterns of Campylobacter spp. strains isolated from poultry carcasses in a big Swiss poultry slaughterhouse.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 272, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


The aim of this study was to determine resistance patterns of strains of Campylobacter spp. isolated from poultry carcasses in one of the two big Swiss poultry slaughterhouses. A variety of antibiotics with clinical relevance in human and/or in veterinary medicine was tested. In addition, the results of the disc diffusion method, E-test and microdilution broth methods were compared. Of the 195 Campylobacter jejuni strains isolated from 195 poultry carcasses from 21 flocks, 134 strains were susceptible in vitro to all tested antibiotics. Sixty-one strains (31.3%, from eight flocks) showed resistance. Forty-one strains were resistant to a single antibiotic-34 to streptomycin, 6 to ampicillin and 1 to ciprofloxacin. Eighteen strains (from two flocks) showed combined resistance to erythromycin and streptomycin, two strains to ciprofloxacin and streptomycin. None of the isolates was resistant to tetracycline. The data of this first study in Switzerland show a favourable resistance situation for C. jejuni strains against erythromycin, tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. The disc diffusion method was found to be a reliable and easy tool for monitoring the prevalence of resistant C. jejuni strains. For surveillance of changes in the susceptibility concentration levels to antimicrobial agents, however, a MIC method should be used. Further investigations along the whole poultry production chain (farm, slaughterhouse and retail levels) are now necessary in order to confirm the resistance situation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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