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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth G. Nesbit x
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Objective—To genetically type Campylobacter jejuni isolates from broiler houses or the external environment to identify the source of Campylobacter organisms in broiler chickens.

Sample Population—Environmental samples associated with broiler chickens, in commercial grow-out houses.

Procedure—Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify flaB, and the amplicon was digested with Sau3A to create a restriction fragment length polymorphism assay; PCR was also used to detect a transcribed spacer region in the 23S rRNA gene.

Results—Isolates possessing a 23S spacer region were more prevalent outside broiler houses than inside. Houses that had previously contained chickens or lacked biosecurity procedures were more likely to contain isolates possessing the 23S spacer. One house contained only isolates possessing the spacer, whereas an adjacent house contained only isolates lacking the spacer. The flaB type detected in broiler houses was different from the type detected in the environment; however, many isolates within the broiler houses contained untypable flaB genotypes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most isolates from within houses were genetically distinct from isolates from outside houses that were examined by bacteriologic culture, suggesting an undetected source of C jejuni. Detection of isolates containing the 23S spacer appeared to be an indicator of environmental contamination of the houses. The observation of completely different C jejuni genetic types simultaneously within adjacent houses suggests that some types do not compete successfully during the grow-out period. In addition, the diversity of genotypes identified within broiler houses indicates the complexity of the ecologic features of C jejuni in the chicken environment. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:190–194)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research