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Detection of Seven Virulence and Toxin Genes of Campylobacter jejuni Isolates from Danish Turkeys by PCR and Cytolethal Distending Toxin Production of the Isolates

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A total of 117 Campylobacter jejuni isolates from Danish turkeys were tested for the presence of seven virulence and toxin genes by PCR. One hundred seventeen (100%) isolates were positive for flaA, cadF, and ceuE gene primers. One hundred three (88%) isolates were positive for cdt gene cluster PCR detection (cdt gene cluster–PCR), whereas 101 (86.3%), 102 (87.2%), and 110 (94%) isolates were positive for cdtA-, cdtB-, and cdtC-PCR, respectively. Only 39 (33.3%) isolates were positive for virB11. Of 117 isolates, 114 (97.4%) produced cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) in Vero cell assays, 105 (89.7%) in Colon 205 assays, and 109 (93.2%) in chicken embryo cell assays. The CDT titers were determined in Vero cell assays. Of 117 isolates, 50 (42.7%) produced a CDT titer of 1:100, 29 (24.8%) of 1:50, and 27 (23%) of 1:5 to 1:10; 8 (6.8%) produced a CDT titer at undiluted supernatants and 3 (2.6%) produced no toxin. Twenty-nine C. jejuni isolates that were PCR negative for one or more individual cdt toxin genes also produced low or no CDT toxin. The high prevalence of the seven virulence and toxin genes demonstrates that these putative pathogenic determinants are widespread among Campylobacter isolates from turkeys and calls for further investigation for the elimination of Campylobacter infection in industrial turkey production and in industrial food chains.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Poultry, Fish and Fur Animals, Danish Veterinary Institute, Hangoevej 2, DK-8200, Aarhus N, Denmark 2: Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Parasitology, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, DK-2300, Copenhagen S, Denmark 3: The International Escherichia and Klebsiella Centre (WHO), Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, DK-2300, Copenhagen S, Denmark

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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