Campylobacter epidemiology from breeders to their progeny in Eastern Spain

Autores UPV
Revista Poultry Science


While horizontal transmission is a route clearly linked to the spread of Campylobacter at the farm level, few studies support the transmission of Campylobacter spp. from breeder flocks to their offspring. Thus, the present study was carried out to investigate the possibility of vertical transmission. Breeders were monitored from the time of housing day-old chicks, then throughout the laying period (0 to 60 wk) and throughout their progeny (broiler fattening, 1 to 42 d) until slaughter. All samples were analyzed according with official method ISO 10272:2006. Results revealed that on breeder farms, Campylobacter isolation started from wk 16 and reached its peak at wk 26, with 57.0% and 93.2% of positive birds, respectively. After this point, the rate of positive birds decreased slightly to 86.0% at 60 wk. However, in broiler production all day-old chicks were found negative for Campylobacter spp, and the bacteria was first isolated at d 14 of age (5.0%), with a significant increase in detection during the fattening period with 62% of Campylobacter positive animals at the end of the production cycle. Moreover, non-positive sample was determined from environmental sources. These results could be explained because Campylobacter may be in a low concentration or in a non-culturable form, as there were several studies that successfully detected Campylobacter DNA, but failed to culture. This form can survive in the environment and infect successive flocks; consequently, further studies are needed to develop more modern, practical, cost-effective and suitable techniques for routine diagnosis.