Prevalence, antimicrobial resistance and genetic diversity ofCampylobacter coliandCampylobacter jejuniin Ecuadorian broilers at slaughter age
Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. are a major cause of foodborne gastrointestinal infections worldwide. The linkage of human campylobacteriosis and poultry has been widely described. In this study we aimed to investigate the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance and genetic diversity of C. coli and C. jejuni in broilers from Ecuador. Caecal content from 379 randomly selected broiler batches originating from 115 farms were collected from 6 slaughterhouses located in the province of Pichincha during 1 year. Microbiological isolation was performed by direct plating on mCCDA agar. Identification of Campylobacter species was done by PCR. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, streptomycin, and erythromycin were obtained. Genetic variation was assessed by RFLP-flaA typing and Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) of selected isolates. Prevalence at batch level was 64.1%. Of the positive batches 68.7% were positive for C. coli, 18.9% for C. jejuni, and 12.4% for C. coli and C. jejuni. Resistance rates above 67% were shown for tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, and nalidixic acid. The resistance pattern tetracycline, ciprofloxin, and nalidixic acid was the dominant one in both Campylobacter species. RFLP-flaA typing analysis showed that C. coli and C. jejuni strains belonged to 38 and 26 profiles respectively. On the other hand MLST typing revealed that C. coli except one strain belonged to CC-828, while C. jejuni except 2 strains belonged to 12 assigned clonal complexes (CCs). Furthermore 4 new sequence types (STs) for both species were described, whereby 2 new STs for C. coli were based on new allele sequences. Further research is necessary to estimate the impact of the slaughter of Campylobacter positive broiler batches on the contamination level of carcasses in slaughterhouses and at retail in Ecuador.