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Detection of Campylobacter from Poultry Carcass Skin Samples at Slaughter in Southern Italy

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Abstract:

Campylobacter is a major foodborne pathogen responsible for acute gastroenteritis characterized by diarrhea that is sometimes bloody, fever, cramps, and vomiting. Campylobacter species are carried in the intestinal tracts of mammals and birds, and sources of human infection include raw milk, contaminated water, direct contact with pets, and foods, particularly poultry. Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are the species that account for the majority of human infections. The aim of this work was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in 190 poultry carcasses sampled at slaughter and to use a multiplex PCR assay to determine if the isolates were C. jejuni or C. coli. C. coli was not isolated, while C. jejuni was recovered from 52 (37.1%) of 140 carcasses for which pools of four sampling sites (neck, cloaca, breast, and back) were examined. In the remaining 50 carcasses, the four sites were analyzed separately, and C. jejuni was recovered from the samples in the following order: neck (n = 20), cloaca (n = 16), breast (n = 14), and back (n = 11). The results are in agreement with those of other studies, which showed that C. jejuni is more commonly associated with poultry than is C. coli. Control strategies for Campylobacter should include interventions to eliminate C. jejuni in poultry at various stages of production and processing, including at slaughter.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Scienze Zootecniche e Ispezione degli Alimenti. Sezione di Ispezione degli Alimenti, Università degli studi di Napoli "Federico II", Via Delpino 1, Napoli, 80137 Italy 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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