Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types of Campylobacter spp. in Danish turkeys before and after slaughter

Birgitte Borck Høg, Karl Pedersen

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In this study, seven Danish turkey flocks were investigated at the farm, oil arrival to the slaughterhouse, and during and after slaughter. Flocks were selected based on their Campylobacter spp. status at the farm and three Campylobacter negative and four Campylobacter positive flocks were included in the study. At the slaughterhouse, 70-75 samples were collected at different points from the shackling station to packaging of the final meat cuttings. Samples included cloacal swabs, neckskin, liver, heart, meat and environmental samples. Detection of Campylobacter. was carried out by conventional culture and by the EiaFoss system (Foss Electric, Hilleroed, Denmark) for detecting Campylobacter spp. in food, using Preston Broth as enrichment medium. The two methods were compared and sensitivities and specificities were calculated using the conventional culture as gold standard. The three negative flocks were consistently negative from the farm and all through processing. Among the samples from the positive flocks, the frequency of positive samples obtained at the slaughterhouse varied. The frequency of positive samples obtained from the four positive flocks varied and was found to be 4%, 49%, 87% and 96%, respectively. In 31 out of 424 samples, discrepancies were observed between results obtained by the EiaFoss system and the conventional culture technique. The sensitivity for the EiaFoss system was calculated to be 0.94 for meat and neckskin samples. A total of 161 strains were genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) in order to investigate possible changes in carriage of Campylobacter spp. strains during processing. In three flocks, only one PFGE type was encountered in samples collected at the farm level and, in one flock, two different types were observed. In two flocks, the strain from the farm was also isolated in samples collected at the slaughterhouse. Changes in carriage were observed in two flocks during processing, in particular post chilling. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)63-72
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • turkeys
  • EiaFoss
  • Preston Broth
  • Campylobacter spp.
  • PFGE
  • C. coli
  • C. jejuni


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