Indexed on: 22 Jul '15Published on: 22 Jul '15Published in: Journal of food protection
A multiplex PCR assay for simultaneous detection and differentiation of Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, and Campylobacter lari was developed and validated to assess the occurrence of these bacteria in fresh chicken meat and by-products in Bangkok, Thailand, by using a new combination of four previously published PCR primers for C. jejuni, C. coli, C. lari, and a universal 16S rDNA gene as an internal control. The specificity was determined by using 13 strains of other bacteria. With pure culture DNA, the detection limit was 0.017 ng/PCR for C. jejuni and C. coli and was 0.016 ng/PCR for C. lari. It can detect 10 CFU of C. jejuni, C. coli, and C. lari in 2 g of chicken meat within a 16-h enrichment time. Our multiplex PCR assay was applied for identification of Campylobacter spp. in 122 supermarket samples and 108 fresh market samples. Of the 230 samples evaluated by multiplex PCR, 54.0, 3.3, and 10.7% of supermarket samples were positive for C. jejuni, C. coli, and mixed C. jejuni and C. coli, respectively, and 56.5 and 33.3% of fresh market samples were positive for C. jejuni and mixed C. jejuni and C. coli, respectively. No sample was positive for C. lari. Fresh market samples had significantly higher C. jejuni and C. coli contamination than those from supermarkets (relative risk: 1.3; P = 0.0001). Compared with the culture method (a gold standard), the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy of multiplex PCR were 97.7, 86.8, 96.1, 92.0, and 95.2%, respectively. No significant difference was observed between results from two methods (P = 0.55). Therefore, the established multiplex PCR was not only rapid and easy to perform but had a high sensitivity and specificity to distinguish between C. jejuni, C. coli, and C. lari, even in samples containing mixed contamination. Our study indicated that fresh chicken meat and by-products from fresh markets were significantly less hygienic than those from supermarkets.