The purposes of this study were to isolate and identify Campylobacter spp. strains from the carcasses (n=65), feces (n=65) and mesenteric lymph nodes (n=65) of swine slaughtered in abattoirs in the State of Sao Paulo and to detect the presence of the cdt gene complex - responsible for the expression of the virulence factor cytolethal distensive toxin - in these Campylobacter spp. strains through Multiplex-PCR. From 195 samples analyzed, Campylobacter spp. was isolated in 31 (15.9%): 29 (93,6%) samples of rectal swab, 1 (3.2%) carcass swab and 1 (3.2%) lymph node sample. The 28 strains of isolated C. coli were positive for CDT toxin genes and the three strains of isolated C. jejuni were negative for these genes. It was also the first time that the cdt gene cluster was detected in strains isolated from swine in the state of São Paulo. These findings indicate swine as a potential spreading source of virulent strains of Campylobacter coli, either for slaughterhouse staff or consumers of carcasses and sub products.
Swine; Campylobacter coli; abattoir; cytolethal distensive toxin; CDT