Thermophilic Campylobacter spp. in turkey samples: evaluation of two automated enzyme immunoassays and conventional microbiological techniques


B. Borck Hangøvej 2, DK-8200 Århus N, Denmark (e-mail:


Aims: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of two automated enzyme immunoassays (EIA), EiaFoss and Minividas, and a conventional microbiological culture technique for detecting thermophilic Campylobacter spp. in turkey samples.

Methods and Results: A total of 286 samples (faecal, meat, neckskin and environmental samples) were collected over a period of 4 months at a turkey slaughterhouse and meat-cutting plant in Denmark. Faecal and environmental samples were tested by the conventional culture method and by the two EIAs, whereas meat and neckskin samples were tested by the two EIAs only. Two enrichment broths were used, Campylobacter Enrichment Broth (CEB) and Preston Broth (PB). Verification of positive test results was carried out by conventional culture on selective solid media. The specificities of all methods were high. The sensitivities of the EIAs were higher than that of the conventional culture technique but varied depending on the type of sample and enrichment broth. For neckskin samples, the Minividas had a significantly higher sensitivity than the EiaFoss and using PB instead of CEB as the enrichment broth significantly improved the sensitivity for both EIAs.

Conclusions: Both EIAs provided more accurate results than the conventional culture technique. Furthermore, neckskin samples enriched in PB resulted in more positive test results and Campylobacter growth than samples enriched in CEB.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The Eiafoss and Minividas proved to be reliable methods for detecting Campylobacter spp. in various samples. However, the results emphasize the need for the development of specific enrichment protocols for specific samples.