Occurrences of thermophilic Campylobacter in cattle slaughtered at Morogoro municipal abattoir, Tanzania

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2010 Jan;42(1):73-8. doi: 10.1007/s11250-009-9387-7. Epub 2009 Jun 24.


An investigation was conducted in Morogoro municipality to assess the likelihood of slaughter cattle posing public health risk of contaminating carcasses with thermophilic Campylobacter. Butchers and meat shopkeepers were interviewed on source of slaughter cattle, method of animal and carcass transportation, carcass dressing, meat storage facilities, access to clean water and availability of food hygiene practices. Faecal samples were collected from 107 slaughter cattle and after slaughter; four different parts of dressed carcasses (i.e. from ham, neck, pelvis and thigh muscles) were also sampled. In addition 107 cattle meat samples for Campylobacter culture were collected in different meat shops. The samples were subjected to standard bacteriological examination using Skirrows protocol. It was found that cattle slaughter, dressing and meat handling in meatshops was done under unhygienic condition. Thermophilic Campylobacter prevalence in slaughter cattle was 5.6% while contamination rate of dressed carcasses and cattle meat at shops was 9.3% and 1.9%, respectively. The majority of thermophilic Campylobacter isolated were C. jejuni (88.9%) while C. coli was isolated at 11.1%. Findings of this study suggest possibility of humans acquiring zoonotic Campylobacter infections from cattle meat particularly when meat preparation and processing is not done properly. More work is required to establish the magnitude of zoonotic enteric Campylobacteriosis in humans and epidemiological role of cattle and other animals in the study area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs
  • Animals
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Cattle / microbiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tanzania
  • Zoonoses / microbiology*