Comparison of genetic profiles of Campylobacter strains isolated from poultry, pig and Campylobacter human infections in Brittany, France

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2009 Feb;57(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2008.04.007. Epub 2008 Jun 4.


Five hundred eighty-two Campylobacter isolates (177 from humans, 319 from poultry and 86 from pig) collected in Brittany, France, in 2003 and 2004 were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The number of human cases increased during the hot season, particularly for C. jejuni. Twelve genetic groups out of 27 contained human isolates collected over the two years. These groups had 21.3 and 17.0% of the isolates obtained in 2003 and 2004, respectively. In four cases, isolates from 2003 have the same Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profile as isolates from 2004. Six PFGE profiles common to poultry and human isolates were identified. Poultry isolates were found in 47 clusters containing human isolates. Caeca from farms and slaughterhouses accounted for 66% of these isolates, with chicken legs obtained from supermarkets accounting for the other 34%. Pig isolates never clustered with poultry and human isolates. In conclusion, the analysis of the genetic profiles of Campylobacter resulting from human cases showed that there were few identical or genetically close isolates between the human cases declared in 2003 and those declared in 2004. This highlighted a great genetic diversity in the isolates and indicated that it should be difficult to bind the human infections with groups of Campylobacter isolates presenting particular genetic profiles. The Campylobacter isolates obtained from the two animal production systems had different genotypes, and isolates from pigs differed genetically from isolates obtained from humans. We found that 44.6% of human Campylobacter isolates were genetically related to genotypes found in poultry and a part of these campylobacteriosis are due to contact with poultry. This is not particularly surprising in Brittany, a farming area with many animal-rearing farms and slaughterhouses. This work highlights the implication of the poultry in the French human cases and that handling of poultry is also an important risk for Campylobacter infection in humans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Campylobacter / classification
  • Campylobacter / genetics*
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification
  • Campylobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Campylobacter Infections / transmission
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Female
  • Food Handling
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Meat / microbiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / microbiology
  • Poultry / microbiology
  • Poultry Diseases / epidemiology
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology*
  • Seasons
  • Species Specificity
  • Swine / microbiology
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology
  • Swine Diseases / microbiology*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Bacterial