This study was performed to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter species in retail chicken meat and chicken by-product, determine their in vitro cytotoxicity, as well as, examine their susceptibility to different antimicrobials. A total of 300 raw chicken meat samples were collected from different retail chicken meat outlets located at Mansoura city, Egypt classified into 120 thighs, 120 breasts, and 60 livers. All samples were subjected to conventional culture techniques and confirmed as Campylobacter jejuni by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter species was determined using disc diffusion method to determine their susceptibility to 12 different antimicrobial agents. In addition, C. jejuni isolates were examined for their cytotoxicity against Vero cells. The overall prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was 10.3% (31/300) classified into 20 (18.2%) C. jejuni and 11 (10.7%) Campylobacter coli. Among C. jejuni isolates (n=20), 15 strains belonged to biotype I and 5 isolates belonged to biotype II. The isolation rate from chicken thighs, breasts and livers was 12.5, 10 and 6.6%, respectively. A total of 15 (75%) C. jejuni strains revealed cytopathic effect (CPE) against Vero cells. Campylobacter spp. displayed a high antimicrobial resistance against penicillin G, gentamicin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, cephalothin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol. On the other hand, Campylobacter spp. displayed high sensitivity to ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid. Multidrug resistance was observed in 85 and 81.82% of C. jejuni and C. coli isolates, respectively High frequency of cytotoxicity and multidrug resistance in Campylobacter spp. from chicken meat indicates an important epidemiological role of Campylobacter spp. in human infections which necessitate proper hygienic measures on poultry farms and control measures during carcass slaughtering and processing.
Key words: Campylobacter; retail chickens meat, real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cytotoxicity, antimicrobial susceptibility.
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