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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Jul 15;125(2):182-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.03.038. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Occurrence and genotypes of Campylobacter in broiler flocks, other farm animals, and the environment during several rearing periods on selected poultry farms.

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Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 272, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


On 15 Swiss poultry farms, broiler flocks, other farm animals, and the environment were examined during consecutive rearing periods to investigate the occurrence and genetic diversity of Campylobacter. Of the 5154 collected samples, 311 (6%) from 14 farms were Campylobacter positive by culture. Amongst the positive samples, 228 tested positive for Campylobacter jejuni and 92 for Campylobacter coli. Positive samples originated from broilers, the broiler houses, cattle, pigs, bantams, laying hens, a horse, and a mouse. Feed, litter, flies, and the supply air to the broiler house tested negative. By flagellin gene typing (fla-RFLP) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), 917 Campylobacter isolates were genotyped. Additionally, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis was performed on 15 assorted strains. On eight farms, matching genotypes were isolated from broiler flocks and other farm animals: Certain genotypes from cattle (farms H, K, L, and M), pigs (farms D and P), or laying hens (farm L) were subsequently found in the broiler flocks, whereas other genotypes initially present in the broiler flocks turned up in cattle (farms A, D, and O). These results emphasize the importance of other farm animals on poultry farms for broiler flock colonization. Indications of persistent contamination of the broiler house were evident on four farms (C, D, I, and L) where matching genotypes were detected in consecutive broiler flocks, but not concurrently in other samples. By fla-RFLP, PFGE, and confirmed by AFLP, some genotypes proofed to be identical across different farms.

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