Epidemiology and infection

Comparison of epidemiologically linked Campylobacter jejuni isolated from human and poultry sources.

PMID 25936829


Campylobacter jejuni is responsible for most foodborne bacterial infections worldwide including Australia. The aim of this study was to investigate a combination of typing methods in the characterization of C. jejuni isolated from clinical diarrhoeal samples (n = 20) and chicken meat (n = 26) in order to identify the source of infection and rank isolates based on their relative risk to humans. Sequencing of the flaA short variable region demonstrated that 86% of clinical isolates had genotypes that were also found in chicken meat. A polymerase chain reaction binary typing system identified 27 different codes based on the presence or absence of genes that have been reported to be associated with various aspects of C. jejuni pathogenicity, indicating that not all isolates may be of equal risk to human health. The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) of the C. jejuni isolates was classified into six classes (A, B, C, E, F, H) with 10·4% remaining unclassified. The majority (72·7%) of clinical isolates possessed sialylated LOS classes. Sialylated LOS classes were also detected in chicken isolates (80·7%). Antimicrobial tests indicated a low level of resistance, with no phenotypic resistance found to most antibiotics tested. A combination of typing approaches was useful to assign isolates to a source of infection and assess their risk to humans.