Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. in chicken and bovine meat in Italy: Prevalence, level of contamination and molecular characterization of isolates

Autoři: Elisabetta Di Giannatale aff001;  Paolo Calistri aff002;  Guido Di Donato aff002;  Lucia Decastelli aff004;  Elisa Goffredo aff005;  Daniela Adriano aff004;  Maria Emanuela Mancini aff005;  Annamaria Galleggiante aff004;  Diana Neri aff001;  Salvatore Antoci aff001;  Cristina Marfoglia aff001;  Francesca Marotta aff001;  Roberta Nuvoloni aff003;  Giacomo Migliorati aff001
Působiště autorů: National Reference Laboratory for , Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale", Teramo, Italy aff001;  National Reference Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology, Programming, Information and Risk Analysis (COVEPI), Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale", Teramo, Italy aff002;  Dept. of Veterinary Sciences, Univ. of Pisa, Pisa, Italy aff003;  Department of Food Hygiene, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’Aosta, Torino, Italy aff004;  Department of Food Hygiene, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Puglia e della Basilicata, Foggia, Italy aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225957


Campylobacter species are common foodborne pathogens associated with cases of human gastroenteritis worldwide. A detailed understanding of the prevalence, contamination levels and molecular characteristics of Campylobacter spp. in cattle and chicken, which are likely the most important sources of human contamination, is imperative. A collection of 1243 poultry meat samples (665 chicken breasts and 578 chicken thighs) and 1203 bovine meat samples (689 hamburgers and 514 knife-cut meat preparations) were collected at retail outlets, in randomly selected supermarkets located in different Italian regions during one year. Of these samples, 17.38% of the poultry meat and 0.58% of the bovine meat samples tested positive for Campylobacter, of which 131 were Campylobacter jejuni (57.96%) and 95 were Campylobacter coli (42.03%). Campylobacter isolates were genotyped with the aim of assessing the genetic diversity, population structure, source distribution and Campylobacter transmission route to humans. All isolates were molecularly characterized by pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and further genotyped using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and fla-SVR sequencing to gain better insight into the population structure. Antibiotic resistance was also investigate. The highest levels of resistance among chicken strains were observed for ciprofloxacin (88.25%), nalidixic acid (81.45%) and tetracycline (75.6%). PFGE analysis revealed 73 pulsotypes for C. jejuni and 54 pulsotypes for C. coli, demonstrating the existance of different and specific clones circulating in Italy. MLST of C.jejuni isolates mainly clustered in the CC353, CC354, CC21, CC206 and CC443; while C.coli isolates clustered only in CC828. The most common flaA alleles were 287 for C. jejuni and 66 for C. coli. Our study confirms that poultry meat is the main source of Campylobacteriosis, whereas red meat had a low level of contamination suggesting a minor role in transmission. The high presence of Campylobacter in retail chicken meat, paired with its increased resistance to antimicrobials with several multidrug resistance profiles detected, is alarming and represents a persistent threat to public health.

Klíčová slova:

Antimicrobial resistance – Campylobacter – Chickens – Italian people – Italy – Meat – Poultry – Sequence databases


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