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Assessment of the Pathogenicity of Campylobacter jejuni in Broilers

Investigators
Joens, Lynn
Institutions
University of Arizona
Start date
2002
End date
2005
Objective
  1. Collection of samples from broiler flocks and determination of the microbial load.
  2. To phenotypically and genotypically characterize C. jejuni poultry isolates.
  3. To evaluate the therapeutic use of antibiotics in broilers as defined by antibiotic resistance of C. jejuni.
  4. Determine the prevalence of pathogenic C. jejuni in broiler chickens.
  5. Provide an outreach program through extension and education on the risk factors of acquiring campylobacteriosis from poultry.
More information
Campylobacter isolates collected from poultry in a tri-state area will be examined for virulence factors. Antibiotic resistance will also be noted between and within isolates from various flocks to provide us with information on the type and amount of drugs being used by the growers. In addition, we will determine if genetic differences can be associated with virulence. The information gathered from this research will be disseminated to producers, retailers, and consumers through extension-based programs provided by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (http://ag.arizona.edu/extension/).

Campylobacter jejuni is the number one cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in the U.S. with an estimated cost of treatment and loss of productivity at $20 billion, annually. Earlier work on defining the risk factors for this disease led workers to case-studies linking infection to the handling and consumption of contaminated poultry. Certainly, large numbers of broilers are contaminated with Campylobacter at retail but it is unknown if these strains are pathogenic in humans. Preliminary investigations in our laboratory have shown that the majority of C. jejuni isolates from poultry are non-invasive in epithelial cells and are inactivated by macrophages over a 72 h period. We will further examine these findings by collecting isolates from poultry in a tri-state area and examine them for virulence factors. Antibiotic resistance will also be noted between and within isolates from various flocks to provide us with information on the type and amount of drugs being used by the growers. In addition, we will determine if genetic differences can be associated with virulence. The information gathered from this research will be disseminated to producers, retailers, and consumers through extension-based programs provided by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (http://ag.arizona.edu/extension/).

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
ARZT-329870-G-02-520
Accession number
193048
Categories
Education and Training
Campylobacter
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game