Med. Weter. 71 (4), 236-244, 2015

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Gomółka-Pawlicka M., Pastuszczak-Frąk M., Uradziński J., Migowska-Calik A., Wysok B., Lachowicz T.
Incidence of Campylobacter spp. during breeding cycles of chicken broilers on farms in north-eastern Poland
The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens during the breeding cycle of 16 flocks from three farms (4 sheds) located in north-eastern Poland. Sampling, sample preparation, and microbiological tests for Campylobacter spp. were performed according to the Polish Standard PN-EN ISO 10 272 – 1: 2007. During the breeding cycle of each flock, 60 cloacal swabs and 63 samples from the internal environment of the chicken house (walls, farm equipment, shoes, clothing and hands of the workers, as well as feed and water) were collected. Samples were taken on day "0", i.e. prior to the insertion of chicks, and at the end of the 3rd and 5th weeks of chickens’ life. The study was conducted over 9 consecutive seasons. A total of 960 cloacal swabs and 1008 samples from the internal environment of poultry houses were tested. None of the internal environment samples taken on day "0" was positive for Campylobacter spp., nor were the feed and water samples or those collected from the hands of the workers, regardless of the breeding cycle phase. However, in the 3rd and 5th weeks of the rearing period, Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 24.9% of cloacal swabs and from 19.8% of litter samples in 6 out of the 16 surveyed flocks. The frequency of isolation of Campylobacter spp. from those samples depended significantly (p ≤ 0.05) on the season and was the highest in the summer. Among the other samples from the internal environment, 0.4% were positive and came from 5 flocks. The presence of Campylobacter spp. was confirmed on all surveyed farms with frequency depending on the season, sample type, phase of the breeding cycle, and farm. This indicates the need for constant implementation of the highest hygiene regimes and rules of biosecurity throughout the production cycle of chicken broilers, regardless of the season.
Key words: Campylobacter spp., chicken broilers, farm, production cycle