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Prevalence of Arcobacter in Meat and Shellfish

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Arcobacter is considered an emergent foodborne and waterborne enteropathogen. However, its prevalence in foods of animal origin is only partially known, because most studies have been concentrated on poultry, pork, and beef, and methods applied do not allow identification of all currently accepted Arcobacter species. We investigated the prevalence of Arcobacter in 203 food samples, 119 samples of seven different types of meats and 84 samples of four types of shellfish. Isolates were identified in parallel by using a published multiplex PCR method and a recently described 16S rDNA restriction fragment length polymorphism method that allows all currently accepted Arcobacter species to be characterized. The global prevalence of Arcobacter was 32%; it was highest in clams (5 of 5 samples, 100%) and chicken (9 of 14 samples, 64.3%) followed by pork (9 of 17 samples, 53.0%), mussels (23 of 56 samples, 41.1%), and duck meat (2 of 5 samples, 40.0%). Turkey meat and beef had a similar recovery rate (10 of 30 samples, 33.3%; 5 of 16 samples, 31.3%; respectively), and rabbit meat had the lowest rate (1 of 10 samples, 10.0%). No arcobacters were found in oysters, frozen shrimps, or sausages. This food survey is the first in which five of the seven accepted Arcobacter species have been isolated. Arcobacter butzleri was the most prevalent species (63.0% of isolates) followed by Arcobacter cryaerophilus (26.6%), Arcobacter mytili (4.7%), Arcobacter skirrowii (3.1%), and Arcobacter nitrofigilis (3.1%). Three (4.7%) of the isolates were classified as belonging to three potentially new phylogenetic lines. Our results indicated that Arcobacter species are widely distributed in the food products studied.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Unitat de Microbiologia, Departament de Ciències Mediques Bàsiques, Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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