Prevalence and risk factors for thermotolerant species ofCampylobacterin poultry meat at retail in Europe

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The thermotolerant species Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter lari and Campylobacter upsaliensis are the causative agents of the human illness called campylobacteriosis. This infection represents a threat for the health of consumers in Europe. It is well known that poultry meat is an important food vehicle of Campylobacter infection. As emerged from the reported scientific literature published between 2006 and 2016, poultry meat sold at retail level in Europe represents an important source of the pathogen. The contamination level of poultry meat sold at retail can vary depending on pre- and post-harvest factors. Among the pre-harvest measures, strict biosecurity practices must be guaranteed; moreover, among post-harvest control measures scalding, chilling and removal of faecal residues can reduce the contamination level of Campylobacter. An additional issue is represented by increasing proportion of Campylobacter isolates resistant to tetracyclines, ciprofloxacin, and nalidixic acid, thus feeding a serious concern on the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment for human campylobacteriosis in a near future.

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