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CHARACTERIZATION OF CAMPYLOBACTER STRAINS IN CECAL DROPPINGS, FECES, CLOACAL SWABS AND CARCASSES OF BROILER FLOCKS

ABSTRACT

The aim of the present study was to assess the API Campy system for characterization of Campylobacter strains. Forty-eight Campylobacter strains were isolated from 22 three-week-old broiler flocks: 15 from cecal droppings, 5 from feces, 3 from cloacal swabs, and 21 from carcasses. The strains were presumptively analyzed by phase contrast microscopy, Gram staining, catalase/oxidase activity, and latex agglutination test, and were then inoculated into the API Campy system, which consists of enzyme-linked and conventional assays under aerobic conditions and assimilation or inhibition tests under microaerophilic conditions, both incubated at 37º C for 24–48 hours, the readings made with a computerized system. A total of 43 strains (89.58%) could be identified, whereas 5 (10.41%) yielded an unacceptable profile. The following species were identified: C. jejuni subsp. jejuni (68.8%), C. coli (8.3%), C. jejuni subsp doylei (6.3%), C. upsaliensis (4.2%) and C. fetus subsp. fetus (2.1%). An 81.8% prevalence was found for Campylobacter in broiler flocks, mainly Campylobacter jejuni subsp. jejuni, identified by the API Campy system, showing a larger number of species, subspecies and biotypes of Campylobacter among the strains isolated from carcasses than among the clinical strains obtained from poultry farms.

KEY WORDS
API Campy system; Campylobacter ; enzyme-linked conventional assay assimilation tests; microaerophilic conditions

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