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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2009 Sep;6(7):755-65. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2008.0247.

Novel approaches for Campylobacter control in poultry.

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Department of Animal Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4574, USA.


The Gram-negative bacterium Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis in the United States and many industrialized countries. Poultry, particularly chickens, is considered a major source of human campylobacteriosis. Thus, on-farm control of Campylobacter in poultry would reduce the risk of human exposure to this pathogen and have a significant impact on food safety and public health. To date, three general strategies have been proposed to control Campylobacter in poultry at the farm level: (1) reduction of environmental exposure (biosecurity measures), (2) an increase in poultry's host resistance to reduce Campylobacter carriage in the gut (e.g., competitive exclusion, vaccination, and host genetics selection), and (3) the use of antimicrobial alternatives to reduce and even eliminate Campylobacter from colonized chickens (e.g., bacteriophage therapy and bacteriocin treatment). Except for biosecurity measures, the other intervention approaches are currently not commercially available and are still under development. This review is focused on two promising strategies--vaccination and bacteriocin treatment. In particular, we extensively review recent research aimed at discovering and characterizing potent anti-Campylobacter bacteriocins to reduce Campylobacter load at the primary production level in poultry.

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