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1 September 2004 Isolation and Prevalence of Campylobacter in the Reproductive Tracts and Semen of Commercial Turkeys
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Abstract

Campylobacter is one of the most commonly reported bacterial causes of human foodborne infections in the United States, and epidemiologic evidence indicates that a significant proportion of human infections result from the improper preparation of poultry products. Campylobacter frequently colonizes the avian intestinal tract, but recent research indicates that this organism can also colonize the avian reproductive tract and possibly contaminate eggs and subsequent offspring. The present studies were undertaken to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in the reproductive systems of commercial turkeys. In the first study, pooled semen samples from seven commercial turkey farms were randomly collected by abdominal massage over a period of 13 wk. The pooled semen samples were serially diluted, and 0.1 ml of each dilution was plated on Campy-Line agar and incubated at 42 C for 48 hr in a microaerophilic environment for enumeration of Campylobacter. Campylobacter was isolated from 57 of the 59 pooled semen samples, and levels ranged from below the limit of detection (<101) to 1.6 × 106 cfu/ml of semen. In the second study, the reproductive tracts of 11 hens and 17 toms were aseptically excised, and the segments (female: vagina, shell gland, isthmus, magnum, and infundibulum; male: ductus deferens and testes) were swabbed with a dry cotton sterile swab. The swabs were incubated for 24 hr in Campylobacter enrichment broth, and 0.1 ml of the enriched sample solution was streaked onto Campy-Line agar plates and incubated at 42 C for 48 hr in a microaerophilic environment. Of the 11 hens sampled, Campylobacter was isolated from the vagina (10/11), the shell gland (7/11), the isthmus (8/11), the magnum (6/11), and the infundibulum (4/11). Of the 17 toms sampled, Campylobacter was isolated from the ductus deferens (8/17) and the testes (2/17). Campylobacter is present in the reproductive tracts and semen of commercial turkeys and may lead to vertical transmission of Campylobacter from the hen to the chick.

K. Cole, A. M. Donoghue, P. J. Blore, and D. J. Donoghue "Isolation and Prevalence of Campylobacter in the Reproductive Tracts and Semen of Commercial Turkeys," Avian Diseases 48(3), 625-630, (1 September 2004). https://doi.org/10.1637/7199-042504R
Received: 25 April 2004; Accepted: 1 May 2004; Published: 1 September 2004
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