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Distribution and Genotypic Characterization of Campylobacter jejuni Isolated from Poultry in Split and Dalmatia County, Croatia


A. Kovačić. Institute of Public Health of Split and Dalmatia County, Vukovarska 46, 21000 Split, Croatia. Tel.: +38521401109; Fax: +38521535318; E-mail:


Consumption of poultry contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni has been recognized worldwide as the leading cause of campylobacteriosis. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence and genotype diversity of Campylobacter jejuni in poultry meat intended for consumption in Split and Dalmatia County, which is the second biggest County in Croatia. Furthermore, we also wanted to discover possibly stable clones of C. jejuni appearing in different samples and periods of time, which would indicate their ability to persist in or adapt to poultry. In the period from March 2008 until June 2010, 834 samples of poultry from various sources were examined using a surface swab technique. Isolation of C. jejuni was performed by Preston broth and Karmali agar. Identification of the isolates was carried out using biochemical tests. C. jejuni was found in 84 of 574 chicken samples (14.6%) and in nine of 260 samples of turkey (3.5%). Pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to analyse 61 obtained isolates using SmaI and KpnI. Of 22 different macrorestriction profiles (MRP) that were found, five were detected in poultry from both different locations and periods of time. Samples from 11 locations were found to be contaminated with more than two different genotypes of C. jejuni. Interestingly, the same MRP were found both in poultry declared to be of domestic origin and in the poultry imported from abroad. The prevalence of C. jejuni in poultry samples was in accordance with previously reported results. Genotypic analysis indicated that the population of C. jejuni in Split and Dalmatia County was diverse and that multiple strains of C. jejuni could be found in the same poultry samples. Furthermore, the same genotypes were identified from the samples obtained from different locations and periods of time, which could support the theory of a global existence of certain MRP that are able to persist in or adapt to poultry.