Diversity and prevalence of Arcobacter spp. in broiler chickens

H.I. Atabay, J.E.L. Corry, Stephen L.W. On

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    Ninety-nine strains of Arcobacter spp., isolated from 10 chicken carcasses purchased from a supermarket and 15 chicken carcasses collected from a poultry abattoir, were speciated using a variety of phenotypic identification methods. All were tested using API Campy test strips and the 16-test (Preston) identification scheme developed for campylobacters. Fifty strains were selected for examination using a more comprehensive probabilistic identification scheme, and the identity of representative strains confirmed by protein profiling using SDS-PAGE, All 25 carcasses yielded Arcobacter butzleri. Three supermarket and 10 abattoir carcasses also carried ii. cryaerophilus, and two abattoir carcasses carried A. skirrowii. The API Campy scheme proved unsatisfactory for identifying these strains: only 20 of 99 strains were accurately identified, all of which were A. cryaerophilus, the only Arcobacter sp. included in the database. Moreover, 76 of 99 strains mere misidentified. The 16-test scheme identified all the arcobacter strains as A. cryaerophilus, since neither A. butzleri nor A. skirrowii had been described when the scheme was developed. The computer-assisted probabilistic scheme succeeded in identifying all but one strain, the identity of which was clarified by the use of SDS-PAGE. To our knowledge this is the first time that arcobacters other than A. butzleri have been reported in poultry meat or any other food of animal origin. Their high prevalence in poultry products may be of significance to public health.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)1007-1016
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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