Ecological Dynamics Of Campylobacter In Integrated Mixed Crop-Livestock Farms And Its Prevalence And Survival Ability In Post-Harvest Products.
Published 2016 · Medicine, Biology
This study investigated the ecological distribution of zoonotic bacterial pathogen, Campylobacter, in mixed crop-livestock (MCL) farms compared to conventional farms and their products at pre- and post-harvest levels. A total of 222 Campylobacter isolates were identified. At pre-harvest level, a total of 1287 samples from seven MCL farms, four conventional poultry farms, four organic produce-only and five conventional produce-only farms from Maryland and the DC metropolitan area were analysed from 2012 to 2014. Campylobacter was detected in 11.16% and 3.6% of MCL and conventional farm samples, respectively, but none from produce-only farm samples. Tetracycline resistance was observed in 51.02% of MCL farm isolates but none among conventional farm isolates. For post-harvest analysis, a total of 1281 food products from seven farmers markets, three organic retail supermarkets and three conventional retail supermarkets were collected from the same area. Campylobacter was isolated in 87.5%, 71.43% and 33.33% of whole chicken carcasses in farmers markets, organic and conventional retail supermarkets, respectively. No Campylobacter was detected in post-harvest produce samples due in part to the inability of Campylobacter to survive in absence of sufficient water activity. Overall, this study reveals public health concerns regarding the MCL farm environment and their products that are sold in retail and farmers markets.