Epidemiology of Campylobacter in poultry

W. Jacobs - Reitsma

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


<p><em>Campylobacter</em> , causing human infections with severe symptoms of diarrhoea, is mainly transmitted by food, especially poultry meat products.<p>Several studies on <em>Campylobacter</em> colonization in breeders, laying hens, and broilers were carried out. <em>Campylobacter</em> isolates were serotyped, using a modification of the Penner system, in order to identify epidemiological factors contributing to the <em>Campylobacter</em> colonization of poultry. No evidence was found for vertical transmission from breeder flocks via the hatchery to progeny, nor for a horizontal transmission from one broiler flock to the next via a persistent house-contamination. By far the major route for <em>Campylobacter</em> contamination of poultry is a horizontal transmission from the environment. Pigs and poultry flocks (broilers, as well as laying hens and breeders), and to a lesser extent, sheep and cattle were found to be potential sources of <em>Campylobacter</em> contamination. Horizontal intervention procedures at the farm level have to be studied further to evaluate the effectiveness of strict hygienic practices during the whole production period.<p>A screening for antibiotic resistance revealed 181 out of 617 <em>Campylobacter</em> isolates (29%), originating from a large number of broiler flocks, to be quinolone-resistant. Quinolone treatment of <em>Campylobacter</em> colonized broiler chicks was found to induce quinolone resistance in the <em>Campylobacter</em> bacteria under experimental conditions. Therefore, quinolone treatment should not be seen as an answer to the problem of eradication of <em>Campylobacter</em> contamination from poultry flocks.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Rombouts, F.M., Promotor, External person
  • Mulder, R.W.A.W., Co-promotor, External person
Award date10 Oct 1994
Place of PublicationBeekbergen
Print ISBNs9789071463723
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • veterinary science
  • poultry
  • fowls
  • epidemics
  • epidemiology
  • food poisoning
  • campylobacter

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