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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2005

Authors: Neubauer, C; Bibl, D; Szölgyenyi, W.+, Jauk, V; Schmid, M; Gabler, C. Vasicek, L

Title: Epidemiological investigation of Campylobacter spp. in Austrian broiler flocks: prevalence and risk factors.

Source: Veterinary Medicine Austria / Wiener Tierärztliche Monatsschrift (92) 4-10.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Hess Claudia

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine

Over a time period of 3 years, an epidemiological investigation was conducted to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in Austrian broiler flocks and to identify risk factors related to husbandry practices and hygiene. A total of 100 randomly selected broiler farms (445 flocks) were tested for the occurance of Campylobacter spp. Pooled faecal samples were obtained from broilers. Samples were also obtained from water, feed, litter, swabs from hygiene barrier, faecal samples from domestic animals (cattle, pigs, laying hens, dogs and cats), insects and rodents on the premises. A detailed questionnaire was used to record farm parameters such as age of birds, flock size, age of broiler houses, hygiene and management routines. Campylobacter spp. were recovered in 24.5 % of the flocks. 88 % of the 109 isolates were identified to be C. jejuni, 12 % to be C. coli. The prevalence of Campylobacter varied between the farms investigated as well as between growing periods within the farms. Only 9 farms remained Campylobacter-negative during the testing time. All tested samples from water, feed and litter were Campylobacter-negative. Chi-square tests were done to determine the association between possible risk factors and isolation of Campylobacter. Risk factors were increasing age of broiler chickens, the presence of pigs at the premises and the use of undisinfected equipment in cleaning routines. Campylobacter occurence was not associated with the geographic location of the farm and the season.

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