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Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Detection of Campylobacter in human and animal field samples in Cambodia

Osbjer, Kristina; Fernström, Lise-Lotte; Boqvist, Sofia; Magnusson, Ulf


Campylobacter are zoonotic bacteria and a leading cause of human gastroenteritis worldwide with Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli being the most commonly detected species. The aim of this study was to detect Campylobacter in humans and livestock (chickens, ducks, pigs, cattle, water buffalo, quail, pigeons and geese) in rural households by routine culturing and multiplex PCR in faecal samples frozen before analysis. Of 681 human samples, 82 (12%) tested positive by PCR (C. jejuni in 66 samples and C. coli in 16), but none by routine culture. Children were more commonly Campylobacter positive (19%) than adult males (8%) and females (7%). Of 853 livestock samples, 106 (12%) tested positive by routine culture and 352 (41%) by PCR. Campylobacter jejuni was more frequent in chickens and ducks and C. coli in pigs. In conclusion, Campylobacter proved to be highly prevalent by PCR in children (19%), ducks (24%), chickens (56%) and pigs (72%). Routine culturing was insufficiently sensitive in detecting Campylobacter in field samples frozen before analysis. These findings suggest that PCR should be the preferred diagnostic method for detection of Campylobacter in humans and livestock where timely culture is not feasible.


Campylobacter; Cambodia; humans; livestock; zoonosis

Published in

2016, Volume: 124, number: 6, pages: 508-515