This project is an investigation into the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in retail poultry in a county in southwestern Ontario, the occurrence of human campylobacteriosis, the risk factors associated with human campylobacteriosis, and the antimicrobial resistance patterns of poultry and human isolates.
The objectives of this study are: to investigate and compare the occurrence of susceptible and resistant Campylobacter spp. isolates in retail poultry and human cases of campylobacteriosis in a defined geographical area in Ontario; to investigate the risk factors for, and burden of illness resulting from, susceptible and resistant campylobacteriosis; and to investigate the temporal relationship between prevalence of Campylobacter contamination in poultry and the occurrence of campylobacteriosis.
The study will document and characterize the occurrence of susceptible and resistant strains of Campylobacter spp. in retail poultry over a one year period in a defined geographical area (subject county/Health Unit). Poultry samples will be purchased at pre-determined intervals from retail outlets according to a defined sampling frame and protocol. Campylobacter isolates will be cultured and serotyped according to standard methodology and resistance tested using the E-test system. For the same time period, the stool samples of all diagnosed human cases of campylobacteriosis will be processed according to like protocols. Epidemiological data will be collected from cases and a randomly selected comparison group. The correlation between the resistance patterns observed in the poultry isolates and the human isolates, the temporal relationship between the level of Campylobacter isolated from retail poultry and the occurrence of campylobacteriosis, and the risk factors for the occurrence of susceptible and resistant campylobacteriosis will be analyzed.
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 preliminary Ontario-based prevalence and risk factor data; providing direction for future larger scale research needed to produce the type of representative data needed for meaningful assessments; provide preliminary data for the development of HACCP-based quality assurance programs; improve our understanding of the potential transmission of antimicrobial resistant strains 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 and the development of an active surveillance system for antimicrobial resistant foodborne pathogens in Ontario. <P> For more information, please visit the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/foodsafety/index.html" target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.