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Finding The Source Of Campylobacter

Date:
May 26, 2005
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Reducing the pathogenic bacterium Campylobacter on poultry farms and in processing plants begins with finding its sources, one of which is the birds' lungs, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report.

Microscopic fluorescent green Campylobacter cells on chicken skin.
Credit: Photo by Anna Bates

Reducing the pathogenic bacterium Campylobacter on poultry farms and in processing plants begins with finding its sources, one of which is the birds' lungs, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report.

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Microbiologists Mark Berrang and Richard Meinersmann and animal physiologist Richard J. Buhr at the ARS Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center in Athens, Ga., studied Campylobacter before and after chicken carcasses were scalded to remove feathers, an integral step in poultry processing.

Bacteria can contaminate live chickens during production or transport, or carcasses during scalding. In either case, Campylobacter would contaminate respiratory air sacs and could then contaminate the abdominal cavity.

In a commercial processing plant, researchers collected 10 carcasses on each of three days, before and after scalding. They rinsed the entire carcasses and respiratory tracts and took samples for Campylobacter, E. coli and other bacteria. The results showed the same type of Campylobacter were in the carcass and respiratory tract samples.

Also, the number and type of Campylobacter in the respiratory tracts remained the same before and after scalding. This suggests the respiratory tract is an important source of Campylobacter contamination in the interior of the carcass before scalding. According to Berrang and colleagues, the airborne bacteria could be inhaled by the live birds during production or transport, meaning significant levels of the bacteria were already in their respiratory tracts before processing.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Finding The Source Of Campylobacter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050525210646.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2005, May 26). Finding The Source Of Campylobacter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050525210646.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Finding The Source Of Campylobacter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050525210646.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

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