Improved protocol for isolation of Campylobacter spp. from retail broiler meat and use of pulsed field gel electrophoresis for the typing of isolates

J Microbiol Methods. 2013 Oct;95(1):76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2013.03.008. Epub 2013 Mar 29.


To improve the detection of Campylobacter spp. in retail broiler meat, a reference method (R subsamples) based on the enrichment of 25 g of meat in Bolton broth at 42°C under microaerobiosis was compared with an alternative method (A subsamples) consisting in the rinsing of meat samples for 30s in buffered peptone water with antimicrobials with incubation at 42°C under aerobiosis. One piece of meat (breasts, tenderloins and thighs) was rinse in experiment 1 (A1) and two pieces in experiment 2 (A2). Campylobacter spp. were isolated on agar plates and identified by PCR. Retail samples in Alabama had less prevalence (P ≤ 0.05) than samples in the state of Washington. The percentage of positive was higher (P ≤ 0.05) in A than in R subsamples and rinsing two pieces of meat yielded the highest percentage of positive subsamples. R subsamples showed variations in the prevalence by product. However, A subsamples had similar prevalence of positives among products compare to the result from reference method. More Campylobacter coli isolates were collected in A2 subsamples. Pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used as subtyping method to study the genome similarity among the isolates from all methods. A larger diversity of isolates were detected by PFGE in A2 subsamples. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis suggested that the initial bacterial populations of the meat samples impact the final bacterial profile after enrichment. Rinsing broiler meats was less time consuming, required less sample preparation and was more sensitive than the reference method for the isolation of naturally occurring Campylobacter spp. This new method could help with epidemiological and intervention studies to control Campylobacter spp.

Keywords: Aerobic enrichment; Campylobacter coli; Campylobacter jejuni; Chicken; DGGE; Identification; PFGE.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Alabama
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Campylobacter / classification*
  • Campylobacter / genetics
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Genetic Variation
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Washington