Clonal population structure and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter jejuni in chicken meat from Belgium

Ihab Habib, William G. Miller, Mieke Uyttendaele, Kurt Houf, Lieven De Zutter

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most important causes of human diarrhea worldwide. In the present work, multilocus sequence typing was used to study the genotypic diversity of 145 C. jejuni isolates from 135 chicken meat preparations sampled across Belgium. Isolates were further typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and their susceptibilities to six antimicrobials were determined. Fifty-seven sequence types (STs) were identified; 26.8% of the total typed isolates were ST-50, ST-45, or ST-257, belonging to clonal complex CC-21, CC-45, or CC-257, respectively. One clonal group comprised 22% (32/145) of all isolates, originating from five different companies and isolated over seven sampling months. Additionally, 53.1% of C. jejuni isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, and 48.2% were resistant to tetracycline; 28.9% (42/145) of all isolates were resistant to both ciprofloxacin and tetracycline. The correlation between certain C. jejuni clonal groups and resistance to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline was notable. C. jejuni isolates assigned to CC-21 (n = 35) were frequently resistant to ciprofloxacin (65.7%) and tetracycline (40%); however, 90% (18/20) of the isolates assigned to CC-45 were pansusceptible. The present study demonstrates that certain C. jejuni genotypes recur frequently in the chicken meat supply. The results of molecular typing, combined with data on sample sources, indicate a possible dissemination of C. jejuni clones with high resistance to ciprofloxacin and/or tetracycline. Whether certain clonal groups are common in the environment and repeatedly infect Belgian broiler flocks or whether they have the potential to persist on farms or in slaughterhouses needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4264-4272
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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