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Research article2005Peer reviewed

Genotype dynamics of Campylobacter jejuni in a broiler flock

Hook H, Fattah MA, Ericsson H, Vagsholm I, Danielsson-Tham ML


We investigated the genotype diversity and dynamics of Campylobacter in a commercial broiler flock during rearing and slaughter. In total, 220 Campylobacter jejuni isolates collected on four sampling occasions during rearing and from routine sampling during slaughter were subtyped by SmaI macrorestriction and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PFGE. Eight different SmaI types were found. During rearing, a subsequent addition of genotypes occurred, with two SmaI types found at 2 weeks of age and six types on the day before slaughter. All types that were detected in more than one isolate were also found on all succeeding sampling occasions, including the slaughter sampling. Two new types were found in the slaughter samples. In two-thirds of the individual birds sampled the day before slaughter, more than one SmaI type were found, although there was a clear tendency for dominance of one type in individual birds. Our results show that multiple genotypes of C. jejuni may be present in a commercial broiler flock during rearing and even in gastrointestinal tracts of individual birds. Both recurring environmental exposure and genetic changes within the population may explain the genotype diversity. Although the distribution of genotypes varied between different sampling occasions, we found no indication that any subtype excluded another during the rearing of the broiler flock. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Veterinary Microbiology
2005, Volume: 106, number: 1-2, pages: 109-117