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Research article2006Peer reviewedOpen access

Distribution of Campylobacter genotypes on broilers during slaughter

Lindmark H, Diedrich C, Andersson L, Lindqvist R, Engvall EO


The highly discriminatory genotyping methods now available for Campylobacter have enabled investigation of the diversity, origin, and route of transmission of this organism. In this study, we investigated the frequency of several genotypes of Campylobacter on chicken carcasses postchilling and on neck skin and cloacal swabs taken at slaughter. Campylobacter isolates recovered with and without enrichment from carcasses were subtyped by macrorestriction profiling. Subtyping 199 Campylobacter isolates from 36 carcasses revealed an average of 1.5 genotypes per carcass. The genotypes present on carcasses were, in most cases, also found in the cloacal samples taken at the beginning of the slaughter process. However, genotypes present on carcasses were, in some cases, not found in the corresponding cloacal samples but in cloacal samples of the preceding slaughter group and, in one case, from the preceding day. The genotypes present in cloacal samples were, with one exception, also found on the corresponding carcasses, indicating that most genotypes survive processing. In most cases, there was a difference of several bands between genotypes present in the same slaughter group, indicating different origins of the isolates rather than the occurrence of a recombination event. However, in two cases, a recombination event could have generated the difference in band patterns seen for two pairs of isolates with nearly identical band patterns, even after cleavage with a second restriction enzyme. The results indicate that individual Campylobacter-positive Swedish chicken carcasses, as well as whole carcass groups, are, in general, contaminated by one or two different genotypes

Published in

Journal of Food Protection
2006, Volume: 69, number: 12, pages: 2902-2907

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

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