PCR for detection of Campylobacter

Campylobacteriosis is currently the single most important cause of gastrointestinal disease in Denmark and several other European countries. One of the available tools for reducing the number of human infections is the implementation of strategic slaughter of broilers. Using real-time PCR for screening the broiler flocks for presence of Campylobacter would be advantageous for several reasons. Real-time PCR is more sensitive and specific than gel-based PCR, it is less work demanding, and the number of manual handling steps is reduced. The main aim of the present project was to disseminate the knowledge of an already validated real-time PCR method for detection of thermotolerant Campylobacter in samples from the chicken production line. The dissemination part of this project was carried out through a technology transfer trial with participation of central Nordic laboratories. The participating laboratories were assisted in implementing the real-time PCR method, and received samples, reagents and media for enrichment, DNA extraction and PCR. Detailed protocols on sample preparation and real-time PCR were prepared for each participant corresponding to their in-house real-time PCR equipment. Finally, based on the validation, and the results obtained in the technology transfer trial a standard proposal for the Nordic Committee on Food Analysis for detection of thermotolerant Campylobacter by real-time PCR was prepared.