Prevalence and Carcass Contamination with Campylobacter in Sheep Sent for Slaughter in Scotland

Garcia, A., Steele, W.B. and Taylor, D.J. (2010) Prevalence and Carcass Contamination with Campylobacter in Sheep Sent for Slaughter in Scotland. Journal of Food Safety, 30(1), pp. 237-250. (doi: 10.1111/j.1745-4565.2009.00203.x)

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Campylobacter species have been identified as the major cause of acute bacterial enteritis in the U.K. It has been suggested that the role of sheep in the epidemiology of Campylobacter has been underestimated. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in sheep sent for slaughter into an abattoir in Scotland and the prevalence of Campylobacter on the carcasses as a potential risk for human campylobacteriosis. Fecal samples and swabs (from fleeces and carcasses) were collected and processed using standard laboratory methods. The prevalence of Campylobacter obtained was unexpectedly high (49% positives from fecal samples by direct plating; 64% from fecal samples after enrichment; 95% from the fleeces after enrichment and 90% from the carcasses after enrichment) in comparison with the prevalence reported in the literature. It is the first time that such higher prevalence have been reported for Campylobacter isolated from sheep. The results showed that Campylobacter jejuni accounted for 75% of all the positive samples, followed by C. coli (16%), C. upsaliensis (2.52%), C. fetus (1.26%) and Arcobacter cryaerophilus (0.84%). These findings have important implications for public health as C. jejuni is the species of Campylobacter most commonly involved in human campylobacteriosis

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Steele, Mr William and Taylor, Prof David
Authors: Garcia, A., Steele, W.B., and Taylor, D.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Food Safety

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