Front Microbiol. 2021 Jun 16;12:682741. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.682741. eCollection 2021.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, virulence genes, and genetic diversity of Campylobacter spp. along the yellow-feathered broiler slaughtering line in Southern China from December 2018 to June 2019. A total of 157 Campylobacter spp. isolates were identified from 1,102 samples (including 53.6% (75/140) of live chicken anal swab samples, 27.5% (44/160) of defeathering samples, 18.1% (29/160) of evisceration samples, 2.1% (3/140) of washing samples, 1.4% (2/140) of chilling samples, and 1.1% (4/362) of environmental samples). The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was 14.2%, including 43.9% Campylobacter jejuni, 53.5% Campylobacter coli, and 2.5% other Campylobacter species. The highest antimicrobial resistance rate was found to be against sulfamethoxazole (138/157, 87.9%), and 90.4% (142/157) of the isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR). Examination of resistance-related genes revealed the double base mutated Thr-86-Ile, which informed ACA-TTA, with an Arg-79-Lys substitution in gyrA. Eleven virulence-associated genes (cadF, cdtA, cdtB, ciaB, flaA, imaA, dnaJ, plaA, virB11, racR, and cdtC) were also detected by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, and cadF (81.5%) was the most prevalent. Based on an analysis of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) results, we found that Campylobacter spp. could be cross-contaminated throughout the entire slaughtering line. These results show that it is imperative to study the Campylobacter spp. from the yellow-feathered broiler along the slaughtering line in China to develop preventative and treatment measures for the poultry industry, as well as food safety and public health.