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Keywords:

  • broiler;
  • Campylobacter;
  • DNA isolation;
  • PCR

Abstract

Aims: To develop and evaluate a rapid and sensitive PCR method for detection of Campylobacter spp. directly from chicken faeces.

Methods and Results: DNA was isolated from faecal swabs using magnetic beads followed by PCR using a prealiquoted PCR mixture, which had been stored in the freezer. The result could be obtained in <6 h. The method was evaluated on 1282 samples from the Danish surveillance programme for Campylobacter in broilers by comparing with conventional culture. The diagnostic specificity was calculated to be 0·99. The detection limits of the PCR method and of the conventional culture were compared using spiked control material. For both methods the detection limit was 36 CFU ml−1.

Conclusions: It was concluded that the PCR proved useful for detection of Campylobacter in pooled cloacal swabs from broilers.

Significance and Impact of the Study: By taking cloacal samples in the broiler flocks the technique can be used as an important tool for planning and directing the broiler slaughtering process. This will be a great help in minimizing the risk of contaminating Campylobacter-free flocks at the abattoir.