The Potential Role of Chicken Meat in Transmission of Campylobacter Jejuni to Consumers
Food-borne zoonotic diseases are a significant and widespread global public health threat. Campylobacter jejuni is a most common contaminant of chicken meat. This study was conducted to investigate the presence of C. jejuni and some of its virulence genes in chicken meat in New Valley, Egypt and determining their zoonotic impacts. A total of 300 chicken meat specimens were collected from 100 freshly slaughtered from breast (pectoral), thigh, and liver (100 of each) from (healthy and diarrheic) live bird markets and analyzed for C. jejuni burden using specific and selective nutrient media and molecular diagnosis. The identified strains were screened for virulence factors (VirB11, fla A and Iam) genes. Results revealed that that out of 300 meat samples, C. jejuni was detected in 74 (24.67%). The highest microbial load was in liver samples (26%) followed by pectoral (25%) then thigh muscle samples (23%). The virulence gene markers of C. jejuni was detected in chicken meat and liver samples as ViroB11 (2.27%), fla A gene (3.34%) and Iam gene (26.66%). Out of 50 diarrheic patients with food-poising signs 18 (36%) was positive for C. jejuni. The virulence markers genes in the human isolates showed that the prevalence of VirB11 gene, fla A, and Iam genes was 14.29 %, 71.43%, and 35.71%, respectively. In conclusion, this survey revealed that raw poultry meat available for consumers in ElKharga, Egypt was contaminated with zoonotic C. jejuni that might represent a threat to public health. Keywords: Chicken, Campylobacter Jejuni, Enterotoxine, Food Poisoning, PCR.