Detection and characterization of Campylobacter spp. from forty dairy cattle herds in Quebec, Canada.

Guévremont, É., Lamoureux, L., Loubier, C. B., Villeneuve, S., and Dubuc, J. (2014). "Detection and characterization of Campylobacter spp. from forty dairy cattle herds in Quebec, Canada.", Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 11(5), pp. 388-394. doi : 10.1089/fpd.2013.1706  Access to full text

Abstract

Dairy cattle are considered a Campylobacter reservoir in the epidemiology of campylobacteriosis. Currently, very little data on the prevalence of Campylobacter in dairy herds are available in the Province of Quebec, Canada. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of Campylobacter associated with management practices in 40 dairy cattle herds as well as to characterize the bacterial genetic diversity. Fecal samples from 797 lactating cows of 40 dairy farms, water provided to animals, milk from bulk tank, and fecal matters from pens were analyzed for the presence of Campylobacter. Management information was collected using a short survey and the geographical positioning was mapped for each farm. Bacterial genetic characterization was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and flaA-typing. In total, 29 farms (72.5%) were found positive for Campylobacter spp. and 20 (50%) of them were positive for Campylobacter jejuni. In animals, 27.6% of the fecal samples were positive for Campylobacter spp. C. hyointestinalis was the most prevalent species (19.3%) in herds, followed by C. jejuni (6.5%). No Campylobacter were recovered from water or milk samples. Component-fed ration systems and the lack of biosecurity measures were associated with an increased prevalence of C. jejuni on the studied farms.Campylobacter-positive farms were scattered throughout the region, and bacterial genetic heterogeneity was observed between farms and inside the herds. This study is the first one to characterize C. jejuni isolates from dairy herds in the Province of Quebec. These observations may be useful in order to elaborate risk-mitigation strategies.

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