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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Aug;76(15):5228-36. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00581-10. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Decreasing trend of overlapping multilocus sequence types between human and chicken Campylobacter jejuni isolates over a decade in Finland.

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Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health, P.O. Box 66, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland.


We describe the long-term multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of the population structure and dynamics of 454 Finnish human Campylobacter jejuni isolates, as well as 208 chicken isolates, collected during the mid-1990s to 2007. The sequence type clonal complexes (ST CC) ST-45 CC, ST-21 CC, and ST-677 CC were the most common ones found among all isolates, and they covered 73.9% of all isolates. The ST-283 CC also was found frequently among chicken isolates (8.2%). The predominant STs among all isolates were ST-45, ST-50, and ST-677. ST-137 and ST-230 were common among human isolates, and ST-267 was found more frequently among chicken isolates than human isolates. The ST-45 CC was significantly associated with chicken isolates (P < 0.01), whereas the ST-21 CC was associated with human isolates (P < 0.001). The ST-677 CC was not associated with any host (P = 0.5), and an opposite temporary trend of this complex was seen among chicken and human isolates, with an increase in the former and a decrease in the latter during the study period. Furthermore, the ST-22 and ST-48 CCs were significantly associated with human isolates (P < 0.01), but neither of the CCs was found in chicken isolates. The annual overlap between STs from human and chicken isolates decreased from 76% at the beginning of the study to 58% at the end. Our results suggest that the importance of chicken as a reservoir for strains associated with human infections has declined despite the consumption of domestic chicken meat increasing during the follow-up period by 83%.

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