Campylobacter populations in wild and domesticated Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)

Environ Microbiol Rep. 2011 Oct;3(5):574-580. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2011.00265.x.


Identifying the Campylobacter genotypes that colonize farmed and wild ducks will help to assess the proportion of human disease that is potentially attributable to the consumption of duck meat and environmental exposure to duck faeces. Comparison of temporally and geographically matched farmed and wild ducks showed that they had different Campylobacter populations in terms of: (i) prevalence, (ii) Campylobacter species and (iii) diversity of genotypes. Furthermore, 92.4% of Campylobacter isolates from farmed ducks were sequence types (STs) commonly associated with human disease, in contrast to just one isolate from the wild ducks. Only one ST, ST-45, was shared between the two sources, accounting for 0.9% of wild duck isolates and 5% of farmed duck isolates. These results indicate that domestic 'niche' as well as host type may affect the distribution of Campylobacter, and that husbandry practises associated with intensive agriculture may be involved in generating a reservoir of human disease associated lineages.