Send to

Choose Destination
Avian Pathol. 1992;21(2):189-213.

The significance of Campylobacter jejuni infection in poultry: a review.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.


Campylobacter is a significant cause of enterocolitis in consumers of undercooked poultry meat. Campylobacter jejuni is the most significant of the three thermophilic Campylobacter species, and is responsible for intestinal colonization in poultry and food-borne enteritis in humans. Generally, C. jejuni is apathogenic in poultry, although newly hatched chicks and turkeys may develop a transient diarrhoea following infection. Modern intensive poultry production favours the introduction of infection into commercial growing units, resulting in intestinal colonization during the second to fourth weeks inclusive. Routes of infection include contaminated fomites, infected water supply, rodents, insects, and free-living birds. Vertical transmission is considered unlikely. Contamination of poultry meat is enhanced by deficiencies in transport and processing of broilers and turkeys. Scalding, defeathering and evisceration represent the significant points of cross-contamination during processing. Epidemiological correlation has been established between consumption of contaminated chicken and outbreaks of human campylobacteriosis. Amelioration of infection by application of improved standards of hygiene and decontamination is possible in the context of commercial poultry production. Improvement in washing of carcasses, and the application of chemical disinfectants and gamma irradiation have the potential to reduce the prevalence of C. jejuni contamination in poultry meat. These innovations, together with improved storage and handling of meat products, will reduce the risk of campylobacteriosis to consumers.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center