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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Identification of Transmission Routes of Campylobacter and On-Farm Measures to Reduce Campylobacter in Chicken

Frosth, Sara; Karlsson-Lindsjo, Oskar; Niazi, Adnan; Fernstrom, Lise-Lotte; Hansson, Ingrid


An in-depth analysis was performed on Swedish broiler producers that had delivered chickens with Campylobacter to slaughter over several years, in order to identify possible transmission routes and formulate effective measures to prevent chickens being colonized with Campylobacter. Between 2017 and 2019, 626 samples were collected at farm level and Campylobacter was isolated from 133 (21.2%). All C. jejuni and C. coli isolated from these samples were whole-genome sequenced, together with isolates from the corresponding cecum samples at slaughter (n = 256). Core genome multi-locus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis, using schemes consisting of 1140 and 529 genes for C. jejuni and C. coli, respectively, revealed that nearby cattle, contaminated drinking water, water ponds, transport crates, and parent flocks were potential reservoirs of Campylobacter. A novel feature compared with previous studies is that measures were implemented and tested during the work. These contributed to a nationwide decrease in Campylobacter-positive flocks from 15.4% in 2016 to 4.6% in 2019, which is the lowest ever rate in Sweden. To conclude, there are different sources and routes of Campylobacter transmission to chickens from different broiler producers, and individual measures must be taken by each producer to prevent Campylobacter colonization of chickens.


broiler; Campylobacter coli; Campylobacter jejuni; campylobacteriosis; cgMLST; chicken; environmental sampling; on-farm measures; transmission routes; whole-genome sequencing

Published in

2020, Volume: 9, number: 5, article number: 363Publisher: MDPI