AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Campylobacter species in a subset of intensive poultry flocks by examining samples collected in geographically disparate areas on the island of Ireland. METHODS AND RESULTS: Faecal, water and environmental samples were collected from the interior of poultry houses on nine farms. Three cultural methods were used for Campylobacter isolation: direct plating, enrichment culture and a recovery method for emerging Campylobacter spp. Presumptive Campylobacter isolates were confirmed using biochemical tests and further identified to species level by multiplex PCR. All flocks sampled in this study were found to be contaminated with Campylobacter at the time of sampling. Structural and air samples taken from the interior of broiler houses were also found to be Campylobacter positive. All water samples were found to be Campylobacter negative. The Campycheck method was used for the isolation of emerging Campylobacter spp. CONCLUSIONS: Campylobacter spp. were recovered (as contaminants) from the poultry house interior, air and environmental samples in all intensive poultry flocks surveyed. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study highlights the need for improved biosecurity on selected poultry farms.
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