Serotype and genotype diversity and hatchery transmission of Campylobacter jejuni in commercial poultry flocks

L. Petersen, E.M. Nielsen, Stephen L.W. On

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    We investigated the genotype and serotype diversity of Campylobacter coli and C jejuni in two parent flocks of adult hens and their offspring over two rotations in order to evaluate the role of hatchery mediated transmission and/or vertical transmission of campylobacters in broiler flocks. In total, 314 C jejuni and 32 C coli isolates from parent and broiler flocks and from the surroundings of broiler houses were typed by flagellin gene PCR/RFLP fla-typing), and selected isolates were also typed by serotyping and macrorestriction profiling using PFGE (MRP/PFGE). The combined typing results showed that the broiler flocks could be colonised by 1-3 different Campylobacter clones and parent flocks could be colonised by 2-6 different clones. C coli was isolated from up to 36% of birds in one parent flock, whereas only C jejuni was isolated from broiler flocks. C jejuni clones from different flocks were clearly discriminated by fla-typing as well as by MRP/PFGE, except for a few cases where individual isolates belonging to two different clones were found to have altered fla-types. Similarly, one C coli clone showed pronounced fla-type variation. The present results lead to the conclusion that vertical transmission or horizontal transmission via the hatchery are not significant transmission routes of C jejuni to broiler chickens under Danish conditions. In the cases where more than one Campylobacter clone simultaneously colonised flocks, we found that the different clones coexisted in flocks rather than excluding each other.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)141-154
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • subtyping
    • chicken
    • Campylobacter jejuni
    • Campylobacter coli
    • infection dynamics


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