Multiple typing for the epidemiological study of contamination of broilers with thermotolerant Campylobacter

Winy Messens, Lieve Herman, Lieven De Zutter, Marc Heyndrickx

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


This study aims to investigate the genetic diversity of thermotolerant Campylobacter in commercial broiler flocks and in the environment of broiler farms in Belgium. Seven out of 18 investigated flocks became colonized during rearing. Fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (FAFLP), pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), restriction fragment length polymorphism of the flagellin A gene (flaA-RFLP) and antimicrobial resistance profile (ARP) were used for typing of the isolates. By the combination of FAFLP and PFGE, 22 Campylobacter genotypes could be distinguished. Colonization was almost exclusively with Campylobacter jejuni and unique genotypes were found in each flock. Multiple genotypes were detected in the broilers of 3 flocks, either simultaneously or successively. In 5 flocks, strains that were resistant to at least one antibiotic (mostly tetracycline) were found. The presence of other broiler houses on the farm did not result in a higher probability of colonization. The nipple water was contaminated with the same genotype as the broilers, illustrating its importance for transmission of Campylobacter. The same genotype was detected in a water puddle and in the broiler flock during rearing in 3 flocks. Once, the same genotype was isolated from the ditch water shortly before it was detected in the broilers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)120-31
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Belgium
  • Campylobacter
  • Campylobacter Infections
  • Chickens
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Environment
  • Flagellin
  • Genotype
  • Housing, Animal
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Poultry Diseases


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