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Prevalence and characterization of Campylobacter isolated from chicken products in metro Vancouver Tzanidis, Anestis Marios


Campylobacter has been recognized as the leading cause of human gastrointestinal diseases with C. jejuni and C. coli being responsible for ~90% and ~10% of human campylobacteriosis, respectively. In this study, we determined the prevalence and characteristics of these two thermotolerant Campylobacter species in retail chicken in metro Vancouver, Canada. Over 200 chicken samples were collected from different districts and tested for Campylobacter contamination using modified Charcoal Cefoperazone Deoxycholate Agar after enrichment in Preston broth. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction (m-PCR) assay was applied to identify C. jejuni and C. coli strains, followed by antimicrobial susceptibility tests using the broth microdilution method. Aminoglycosides, lincosamides, macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines and phenicols were the major antimicrobial classes used to determine the antimicrobial resistance patterns of the isolates. Finally, we performed multilocus sequence typing to investigate the population structure and their relationship with Canadian human isolates. A total of 34% of the samples were tested positive for C. jejuni (80%) and C. coli (20%) and the majority were resistant to nalidixic acid at 60% and 69%, followed by resistance to ciprofloxacin at 51.1% and 38.4% for C. jejuni and C. coli, respectively. We did not discover any multi-drug resistant Campylobacter belonging to either species. Nevertheless, 17.8% of C. jejuni and 38.5% of C. coli were resistant to ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline and doxycycline at the same time. The chicken isolates showed significant genetic diversity with 9 C. jejuni sequence types (STs) belonging to six commonly identified clonal complexes (ST-21, ST-42, ST-48, ST-283, ST-343 and ST-353) and 9 C. coli isolates belonging to one clonal complex (ST-828). This study shed light on the levels, population structure and antimicrobial resistance of C. jejuni and C. coli isolated from chicken products in Vancouver, emphasizing the need to implement additional intervention strategies to control this foodborne pathogen.

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