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. 2009 Oct;75(19):6275-81.
doi: 10.1128/AEM.00499-09. Epub 2009 Aug 21.

Spatiotemporal Homogeneity of Campylobacter Subtypes From Cattle and Sheep Across Northeastern and Southwestern Scotland

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Free PMC article

Spatiotemporal Homogeneity of Campylobacter Subtypes From Cattle and Sheep Across Northeastern and Southwestern Scotland

Ovidiu Rotariu et al. Appl Environ Microbiol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Source attribution using molecular subtypes has implicated cattle and sheep as sources of human Campylobacter infection. Whether the Campylobacter subtypes associated with cattle and sheep vary spatiotemporally remains poorly known, especially at national levels. Here we describe spatiotemporal patterns of prevalence, bacterial enumeration, and subtype composition in Campylobacter isolates from cattle and sheep feces from northeastern (63 farms, 414 samples) and southwestern (71 farms, 449 samples) Scotland during 2005 to 2006. Isolates (201) were categorized as sequence type (ST), as clonal complex (CC), and as Campylobacter jejuni or Campylobacter coli using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). No significant difference in average prevalence (cattle, 22%; sheep, 25%) or average enumeration (cattle, 2.7 x 10(4) CFU/g; sheep, 2.0 x 10(5) CFU/g) was found between hosts or regions. The four most common STs (C. jejuni ST-19, ST-42, and ST-61 and C. coli ST-827) occurred in both hosts, whereas STs of the C. coli ST-828 clonal complex were more common in sheep. Neither host yielded evidence for regional differences in ST, CC, or MLST allele composition. Isolates from the two hosts combined, categorized as ST or CC, were more similar within than between farms but showed no further spatiotemporal trends up to 330 km and 50 weeks between farm samples. In contrast, both regions yielded evidence for significant differences in ST, CC, and allele composition between hosts, such that 65% of isolates could be attributed to a known host. These results suggest that cattle and sheep within the spatiotemporal scales analyzed are each capable of contributing homogeneous Campylobacter strains to human infections.

Figures

FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.
Spatial distribution of cattle (a) and sheep (b) farms sampled. Maps were created using ArcView 3.3 (ESRI, Redlands, CA). (This work is based on data provided through EDINA UKBORDERS with the support of the ESCR and JISC and uses boundary material which is copyright of the Crown and the Post Office.)
FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.
Frequency distributions of the concentrations of Campylobacter in cattle (a) and sheep (b) feces from northeastern and southwestern Scotland.
FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.
Spatiotemporal variation in CC (a) and ST (b), for cattle and sheep isolates combined. The horizontal and vertical axes show the differences in space and time between isolates, respectively. The intensity of shading indicates the degree of similarity between pairwise comparisons of isolates.

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