Genetic diversity of Campylobacter on broiler carcasses
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Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are the most important human enteropathogens among the campylobacters. The objective of this study was to determine how diversity in Campylobacter found on chicken carcasses collected from re-hang and post chill sites at 17 poultry processing plants in the United States is impacted during processing by sequencing the Short Variable Region of the flaA locus. Seventy percent of carcasses had one flaA-SVR type detected. Campylobacter genetic diversity decreased as carcasses proceeded through processing; carcasses sampled at re-hang had significantly more genetic diversity in Campylobacter populations than carcasses sampled at post chill. There was more diversity in Campylobacter on carcasses collected during winter than spring, summer, or fall. There were certain types that were present at re-hang that were not present at post chill, and vice versa, suggesting that there are certain types that are prone to perish during processing while others may survive or persist in the stressful processing environments.