Antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter species in Australian commercial chicken flocks

Pongthorn Pumtang-on, Timothy J. Mahony, Rodney Hill, Thiru Vanniasinkam

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The incidence of Campylobacter infections has increased over the last few decades in developed and developing countries. Poultry is a major source of human Campylobacter infection. Antimicrobials are used to treat prolonged or severe Campylobacter infections. Campylobacter strains resistant to antimicrobials have been identified in chickens and humans and this is becoming a significant public health issue. Nevertheless, antimicrobial resistance patterns of Campylobacter spp. among Australian commercial chicken flocks remain unclear. Therefore, this pilot study aimed to identify antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Campylobacter samples isolated from commercial chicken flocks in Queensland and New South Wales.
Drag swabs and randomly selected fresh faecal/caecal content were collected from chicken broiler or breeder chicken flocks. Campylobacter isolation was performed and Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli were identified using multiplex PCR and MALDI-TOF methods. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of these isolates were examined using a disc diffusion assay.
Campylobacter spp. were detected in five out of 18 breeder flocks (28 %); four were identified with C. jejuni only and the remaining flock had both C. jejuni and C. coli. Campylobacter spp. were also identified in all three broiler flocks (100%); two flocks were positive for C. jejuni only and only C. coli was identified in the other. Campylobacter coli was identified amongst 12% of 7-day-old broiler chicks, while C. jejuni was detected in 79% of broilers 14-21 days after birth. All Campylobacter isolates were resistant to cephalothin and sensitive to chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, naladixic acid, enrofloxacin, erythromycin and gentamicin. Resistance was detected for cephalothin, tetracycline, ampicillin and amoxicillin at various frequencies. Multi-antimicrobial resistance was not uncommon as twenty-seven (28%), eight (8%) and four isolates (4%) showed resistance to two, three or four of these antimicrobials, respectively.
These results show the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in some Campylobacter isolates. Further investigations on a larger number of samples should be conducted to determine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter isolates from poultry in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2016
EventAustralian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting and Exhibition (ASM 2016) - Perth Convention Centre, Perth, Australia
Duration: 03 Jul 201606 Jul 2016


ExhibitionAustralian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting and Exhibition (ASM 2016)
Abbreviated titleNew Frontiers
Internet address


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