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Epidemiological Studies and Development of Practical Control Measures for Campylobacter in Broiler Flocks

Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK
Start date
End date
  1. Provide a better understanding of the major sources of Campylobacter infection in broiler flocks
  2. Develop and evaluate, with industry, a practical control package to reduce the introduction and spread of Campylobacter in different types of broiler flocks using theoretical and empirical approaches
More information
Progress: To date the project has:
1. Evaluated Campylobacter culture methods, reviewing the performance of sample enrichment, enrichment parameters such as broth temperature and culture time, sample storage post collection and isolation from environmental samples.

2. Real Time PCR has been developed to compare environmental Campylobacters with first positive isolates from broilers. Comparison is based on sequence homology of the FlaA gene between isolated strains.

3. Data Review, data collation and analysis derived from information gathered relating to the monitoring and control of Campylobacter infection in broiler flocks in the UK and other European Countries (Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden). The data should inform on the design of further field work and control methods used in future objectives for this project.

4. A full farm to fork assessment of Campylobacter infection in chickens has been developed as a Quantitative Risk Assessment model. Processes that have an affect on prevalence, survival and bacterial multiplication are all described mathematically. As the project proceeds the incoming data will enable the researchers to modify and refine the QRA model. It is proposed that this QRA model will be used to identify and evaluate potential Campylobacter infection control measures.

5. The proposed Qualitative Farmer Survey has been met with some reluctance from within the poultry industry particularly in relation to economics related questions.

6. Despite concerns over pathogenic avian influenza and visitors to poultry premises, however, two farms have been involved in preliminary studies sampling flocks and the environment.

Funding Source
Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Project number
Prevention and Control
Bacterial Pathogens
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Meat, Poultry, Game