Prevalence of cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) genes and CDT production in Campylobacter spp. isolated from Danish broilers

Dang D. Bang, Flemming Scheutz, Peter Ahrens, Karl Pedersen, Jens Blom, Mogens Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The pathogenesis of campylobacter infection in man is largely unknown, although cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) has been incriminated as a virulence factor. However, little is known about the cdt genes in Campylobacter spp. isolated from broiler chickens. A total of 350 cloacal swabs was collected and tested by conventional culture and PCR. Of the 114 Campylobacter isolates obtained, 101 (88.6%) were identified as C. jejuni and 13 (11.4%) as C. coli by conventional methods. cdt genes were detected by PCR in all the isolates except one C jejuni isolate. Cytotoxic effects were produced in a Vero cell line, by 100 of the C. jejuni isolates. In contrast, 10 C coli isolates produced much lower levels of toxin and 3 produced no detectable toxin. These results confirm the common occurrence of campylobacter infection in chickens and indicate that cdt genes are commonly present in both C. jejuni and C. coli isolates from broilers, but that there are distinct differences in CDT production in these two closely related species.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1087-1094
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Base Sequence
  • Campylobacter
  • Campylobacter Infections
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cercopithecus aethiops
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Denmark
  • Feces
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Poultry Diseases
  • Prevalence
  • Vero Cells
  • cytolethal distending toxin
  • bacterial toxin
  • unclassified drug
  • article
  • bacterial gene
  • bacterial virulence
  • bacterium culture
  • bacterium isolation
  • chicken
  • controlled study
  • culture medium
  • genetic analysis
  • Gram negative infection
  • nonhuman
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • priority journal
  • species difference
  • PCR
  • cytotoxic effects
  • Aves Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Birds, Chordates, Nonhuman Vertebrates, Vertebrates) - Galliformes [85536] chicken Danish broilers, host
  • Eubacteria Bacteria Microorganisms (Bacteria, Eubacteria, Microorganisms) - Aerobic Helical or Vibrioid Gram-Negatives [06210] Campylobacter coli pathogen, strain-CCUG 11283 Campylobacter fetus pathogen Campylobacter helviticus pathogen Campylobacter hyointestinalis pathogen Campylobacter jejuni pathogen, strain-CCUG 11284 Campylobacter lari pathogen Campylobacter spp. pathogen Campylobacter upsaliensis pathogen
  • Campylobacter spp. cdt gene [Aerobic Helical or Vibrioid Gram-Negatives] Campylobacter spp. cytolethal distending toxin gene
  • cytolethal distending toxin CDT production, virulence factor
  • 03502, Genetics - General
  • 03506, Genetics - Animal
  • 10062, Biochemistry studies - Nucleic acids, purines and pyrimidines
  • 22501, Toxicology - General and methods
  • 31000, Physiology and biochemistry of bacteria
  • 31500, Genetics of bacteria and viruses
  • 32500, Tissue culture, apparatus, methods and media
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • cloacal swabs laboratory equipment
  • conventional culture cell culture method
  • PCR polymerase chain reaction analytical method
  • Infection
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Bang, D. D., Scheutz, F., Ahrens, P., Pedersen, K., Blom, J., & Madsen, M. (2001). Prevalence of cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) genes and CDT production in Campylobacter spp. isolated from Danish broilers. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 50(12), 1087-1094.