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J Appl Microbiol. 2009 Sep;107(3):898-905. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04269.x. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Shedding of Campylobacter spp. in Finnish cattle on dairy farms.

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1
Research Department, Finnish Food Safety Authority, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

AIMS:

The aim of this study was to determine variation of prevalence throughout a year, colonization levels and genotypes of Campylobacter jejuni in Finnish dairy cattle herds.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Faecal samples and tank milk samples from three dairy cattle herds were taken five times, and swab samples from drinking troughs once during a 1-year sampling period. The samples were enriched in Bolton broth and subsequently spread on mCCDA. Isolates were then subtyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis using SmaI. Campylobacter jejuni was detected in 169 of the 340 faecal samples and in one drinking trough sample. Prevalences between herds and sampling times varied widely. The faecal levels of C. jejuni were mainly low. Between one and four SmaI subtypes were identified from each herd per sampling. Two SmaI subtypes persisted in two of the herds throughout the study.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dairy cattle can be a long-term reservoir of C. jejuni subtypes similar to clinical isolates. Differences in the colonization potential among C. jejuni strains as well as in the resistance to campylobacter colonization among animals are possible.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The study provides data on contamination dynamics, colonization levels and the persistence of C. jejuni in dairy cattle.

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