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Campylobacter strains exchange genes and may become more toxic and antibiotic resistant-ScienceDaily

According to a new study from North Carolina State University, Campylobacter survives during poultry production (from farms to grocery shelves), and the two most common strains exchange genetic material for antibiotic resistance. Infectious Campylobacter strains may increase. ..

Campylobacter is a well-known group of food-derived bacteria that spreads primarily through the consumption of contaminated food. In humans, it causes symptoms commonly associated with food poisoning, such as diarrhea, fever, and convulsions. However, Campylobacter infection is also one of the major precursors to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious complication that can cause permanent disability and paralysis. Poultry is a known reservoir of bacteria.

“There are two strains of Campylobacter that we are involved with, C. Kori and C. Jejuni,” said Major Dawnhal, a current PhD veterinarian. A student at North Carolina State University and the lead author of the study. “C. Jejuni causes up to 90% of human Campylobacter infections, but fortunately this strain is unlikely to carry the multidrug resistance gene. C. Kori may contain the multidrug resistance gene. Twice as sex, but less than that. Effective human pathogens. Multidrug resistance means that the bacterium has a gene that is resistant to three or more antibacterial classes. “

Commonly seen throughout North Carolina’s poultry production process is the corresponding author, Sid Takul, a professor of artificial health and pathological biology at North Carolina State University and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and head of the Global Health Program.

“Campylobacter has a fairly’plastic’genome, so strains can exchange genetic material,” says Takul. “When C.coli begins to take up large amounts of C. jejuni’s genetic material and increases its pathogenicity, many antibiotic-resistant infections can occur, which can be a major public health problem. In the case of C. jejuni, the same thing happens when the antibiotic resistance gene is taken from Campylobacter jejuni. “

From 2018 to 2019, the team sampled chicken and turkey from a retail grocery store in North Carolina. They compared Campylobacter isolated from meat with USDA samples taken from poultry farms and production facilities in North Carolina. C. coli was most common on farms and production facilities, with 54% and 60% of chicken isolates, respectively, but C. jejuni was found in 69% of retail chicken.

Next, the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) gene of isolates from food animals and meat was tested and C. We found that 90% of both coli and C. jejuni contained at least one AMR gene and 43% contained resistance genes to three or more antibiotics. class. Twenty-four percent of C. jejuni contained a resistance gene to fluoroquinolones, the “last line of defense” against Campylobacter.

Finally, the team pointed out that quite a few new Campylobacter strains (21) emerged in 2019, compared to just two in 2018. This indicates that extensive changes occur in the Campylobacter genome, which can increase its toxicity and drug resistance. profile.

“If you go to the supermarket and pick 10 different chicken breasts, 4 will contain Campylobacter, and at least one will contain Fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter,” says Takul. “This trend has been fairly consistent over the last decade. There are concerns about a sudden surge in resistant sequence types.”

“This study shows that genomic exchange is occurring between C. coli and C. jejuni, and that Campylobacter antimicrobial resistance is increased in poultry production in South Carolina. “I will,” says Hull. “Campylobacter is a global major cause of food poisoning, so tracking this exchange is important to prevent infection and provide future treatment.”

The study will be displayed in PLOS ONE It was then supported by the Food and Drug Administration (Grant No. 1U01FD007145-01, National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System) and the USDA. Erin Harrell and Maria Correa of ​​North Carolina State University and Arnoud van Vliet of Surrey University in the United Kingdom also contributed to this work.

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Materials provided by North Carolina State University.. Original written by Tracey Peak. Note: The content can be edited in style and length.

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