Genes coding for virulence determinants of Campylobacter jejuni in human clinical and cattle isolates from Alberta, Canada, and their potential role in colonization of poultry


  • Debabrata Biswas
  • Sherry J. hannon
  • Hugh G. G. Townsend
  • Andrew Potter
  • Brenda J. Allan


Campylobacter jejuni, virulence genes, bacterial adherence, bacterial invasion, bacterial colonization


Forty nine Campylobacter jejuni isolates from cattle feces collected from Alberta feedlots and 50 clinical C. jejuni isolates from people in Alberta were tested for the presence of 14 genes encoding putative virulence factors by PCR. These included genes implicated in adherence and colonization (flaC, cadF, docC, racR, jlpA, peb1, and dnaJ), invasion (virB11, ciaB, pldA, and iamA) and protection against harsh conditions (htrA, cbrA, and sodB). The genes examined were widely distributed in both the cattle fecal isolates and the human isolates. Of the isolates tested, 67% contained all of the genes except virB11. The cadF gene was found in 100% of the isolates tested. The presence or absence of virulence-associated genes was not associated with the ability of the organism to colonize birds. All of the C. jejuni isolates used to challenge birds were able to colonize the animals regardless of virulence gene profile. While some diversity in the profile of the occurrence of virulence-
associated genes in C. jejuni exists, the distribution of these putative virulence-associated genes isolates from feedlot
cattle feces and humans in Alberta was similar. In addition it was not possible to predict the ability of the selected isolates to
colonize young chicks based on the presence of these genes coding for virulence determinants. [Int Microbiol 2011; 14(1):25-32]




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