Genetic diversity of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from the poultry food chain


Introduction:Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most frequently reported causes of foodborne bacterial enteric disease worldwide. The main source of these microorganisms is contaminated food, especially of poultry origin. There are several molecular methods for differentiation of Campylobacter isolates at the subgenus level, and one of these is porA-typing based on the sequencing of the major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) encoding gene. The aim of the study was to test the molecular relationship of C. jejuni strains isolated at different points along the poultry food chain and assess the population structure of the isolates.

Material and Methods: A total of 451 C. jejuni were used in the study, and a DNA fragment of 630 bp of the MOMP encoding gene was amplified and sequenced.

Results: One hundred and ten sequence types were identified, with 69 (62.7%) unique to the isolates' origin and 30 not present in the database. The most prevalent nucleotide variant 1 was detected in 37 (8.2%) strains. These isolates were identified in all poultry sources tested, especially in faeces (15 isolates) but also in poultry carcasses and meat (11 isolates in each).

Conclusion: The porA typing method was highly discriminative for C. jejuni of poultry origin since the Simpson's diversity index (D) achieved a value of 0.876, indicating considerable diversity in the bacterial population tested. The method may be further used for epidemiological investigation purposes.

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