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Some potential sources for transmission of Campylobacter jejuni to broiler chickens

Ramabu, S.S., Boxall, N.S., Madie, P. and Fenwick, S.G. (2004) Some potential sources for transmission of Campylobacter jejuni to broiler chickens. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 39 (3). pp. 252-256.

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Aims: The aim of the study was to determine Campylobacter jejuni contamination and prevalence on fomites moving between broiler farms and the processing plant in the period after cleaning and before departure to harvest chickens. In addition, changes in the proportion of contaminated fomites in the course of a day were assessed. Methods and Results: Pooled swab samples were obtained from pallets, crates, wheels of trucks, tractors and forklifts, truck beds, and from drivers' and catchers' boots. After enrichment in Bolton's broth Campylobacter were recovered on modified blood-free Campylobacter selective agar (mCCDA). Isolates were identified using tests for phenotypic and biochemical characteristics. Of the 209 samples collected, 53% were positive for C. jejuni, with all fomites positive except tractor wheels. Pallets had the highest contamination rate at 75%. More than 50% of catchers' boots, drivers' boots, crates and truck wheels were positive. Forty-seven per cent and 31% of truck beds and forklift wheels, respectively, were contaminated. The proportion of contaminated fomites did not change significantly during the day. Conclusions: This study has identified trucks, forklifts, pallets, crates, drivers' and catchers' boots as potential sources of C. jejuni for broilers. Significance and Impact of the Study: Campylobacter jejuni contamination of broiler processing plant fomites was found to be extensive ranging from 31% for truck beds to 75% for pallets. The proportion of contaminated fomites was observed to be similar throughout the day. The impact of contaminated fomites as sources of colonization of broilers with C. jejuni is discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
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