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Campylobacter Isolation Methodology and Molecular Characterization


There are two main objectives of this project. The first objective is to further investigate the relationship between the Campylobacter spp. isolated from the human and chicken samples utilizing molecular characterization techniques. A subset of human and poultry isolates with similar antimicrobial resistance profiles will be evaluated using PCR-DNA sequence analysis of a short variable region within the fla gene. This will provide more complete and definitive information for the analysis of the relationship between antimicrobial resistance in retail poultry and human isolates and the risk factors associated with human campylobacteriosis.
The second objective is to investigate and compare the performance of the current method for enumeration of Campylobacter spp. from carcass rinse samples with the Campy-Cefex Agar method from both carcass rinse samples and package weep fluid samples. The Campy-Cefex Agar method is a faster and more economical method than is currently utilized in research situations. The additional advantage of the package weep fluid sample is the ease of sample collection and the non-destructive nature of the sampling. Enumeration of Campylobacter spp. in retail poultry provides information on the level of risk to which the consumer is exposed. This information is an important component of risk analysis and risk assessments. Currently, enumeration is not practical for inclusion in surveillance or the majority of research projects due to the extensive resource and time commitments of the official method.

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Expected Impact of Project Outcomes on Food Safety in Ontario:
The results of this project will contribute to the maintenance of Ontario's standards of food safety and preservation of public health by: providing a rapid and inexpensive method for enumeration of Campylobyacter in meat; improve general understanding of the potential transmission of antimicrobial resistant stains of Campylobacter via the food chain; and provide the basis for further initiatives including investigations into the association between on-farm antimicrobial use and the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant strains of Campylobacter in retail poultry. <P> For more information, please visit the <a href="; target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.

McEwen, Scott
University of Guelph
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