- Berndtson, E., et al.
A 1-year epidemiological study of campylobacters in 18 Swedish chicken farms
Ingår i: Preventive Veterinary Medicine. - : Elsevier. - 0167-5877 .- 1873-1716. ; 26:3-4, s. 167-185
- Broiler chickens are often intestinal carriers of Campylobacter. During processing, Campylobacter may be spread over the carcass. Thus, undercooked chicken meat, or other foods contaminated by raw chicken can act as a source of infection to humans. This study was conducted to identify risk factors for chicken flocks being colonized with Campylobacter. Eighteen chicken farms with altogether 62 chicken compartments were studied for 1 year with visits during each growing period and sampling of chicken caecal contents at slaughter. Four to six subsequent flocks were raised in each compartment during the study. A detailed questionnaire was used to record farm parameters such as building materials, feed and water equipment, hygiene and management routines. Campylobacter prevalence varied between farms, between growing periods within the farms and also during the year, with lowest prevalence during the spring. Campylobacters were isolated from 27% out of 287 flocks. Only two farms were negative at all samplings. Often the flock following a positive flock in a compartment was negative, indicating that normal cleaning and disinfecting routines are sufficient for eliminating the bacteria from the house. Usually only one serotype was found in each positive flock. Campylobacter occurrence increased with the age of the chickens at slaughter, and also with flock size.Univariable chi-square tests were done of the association between possible risk factors and Campylobacter prevalence. Factors associated with higher Campylobacter prevalence in flocks were lack of or diffuse hygiene barriers, increasing flock size, increasing age at slaughter, short vs. long empty periods, wet litter beds, other poultry nearby or staff handling other poultry, flocks divided before slaughter, staff loading to slaughter at several farms and occurrence of mice. Under Swedish conditions, water does not seem to be a source of infection for chickens. Origin and handling of day-old chickens, feed additives, houses and litter were not associated with higher Campylobacter prevalence.