Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide and is associated with post-infectious neuropathies. Moreover, the chicken reservoir is described as the main source of human infection and C. jejuni sialylated lipooligosaccharides seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of neuropathies. In this study, MultiLocus Sequence Typing (MLST) and Comparative Genomic Fingerprinting using 40 assay genes (CGF40) were used to describe C. jejuni populations within clinical isolates and a representative collection of isolates from French poultry production. In addition, the sialylation of C. jejuni LOS was assessed. Here, we report high levels of genetic diversity among both chicken and human disease C. jejuni populations. The predominance of the ST-21, ST-45, and ST-464 complexes in chicken isolates and of the ST-21, ST-206, and ST-48 complexes in the clinical isolates was observed as were correlations between some MLST and CGF40 genotypes. Furthermore, some C. jejuni genotypes were frequently isolated among clinical cases as well as all along the broiler production chain, suggesting a potentially high implication of chicken in human campylobacteriosis in France. Finally, the LOS classes A, B and C were predominant within clinical C. jejuni isolates supporting the hypothesis of a benefit in infectivity for C. jejuni isolates showing sialylated LOS.
Keywords: CGF40; Campylobacter jejuni; Chicken; Foodborne disease; LOS; MLST.
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