About the book
Campylobacter is well recognized as the leading cause of bacterial foodborne diarrheal infections worldwide. Symptoms can range from mild to severe conditions, including permanent neurological symptoms. Recent studies have shown that 31% of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a neurologic disease that causes ascending paralysis are attributable to Campylobacter infection. Campylobacter is a thermophilic bacterium. Generally, the strains of Campylobacter are apathogenic in poultry, although newly hatched chicks and turkeys may develop transient diarrhea following C. jejuni infection. Modern intensive poultry production favors the introduction of disease into commercial growing units, resulting in intestinal colonization during the second to fourth weeks. The organism is carried in the intestine of many wild and domestic animals; hence, routes of infection in commercial poultry include contaminated fomites, infected water supply, rodents, insects, and free-living birds. Intestinal colonization results in healthy animals as carriers and epidemiological data suggest that contaminated products of animal origin, especially poultry, contribute significantly to Campylobacteriosis. Consequently, the reduction of raw poultry contamination has a significant impact on reducing the incidence of infection. Contamination of poultry products occurs both on the farm and in processing plants.
Routine procedures on the farm, such as feed withdrawal, poultry handling, and transportation practices, have a documented effect on Campylobacter levels at the processing plant. At the plant, defeathering, evisceration, and carcass chillers have been reported to cross-contaminate poultry carcasses. The high frequency of Campylobacter spp. transmission from poultry to humans promotes scientists to consider and create alternative intervention strategies to control the pathogen in poultry production since excessively high numbers of Campylobacter (often >108 CFU/g of poultry intestinal material) potentiate high numbers of the organism on the processed broiler carcass with increasing consequent human health risk. Interventions during poultry production portend the most excellent opportunity for reducing the risk of disease.
However, amelioration of infection by applying improved hygiene standards and decontamination, such as the washing of carcasses and the application of chemical disinfectants and gamma irradiation, can reduce the prevalence of Campylobacter contamination in poultry meat. This book aims to assess the significance of Campylobacter as a foodborne pathogen and consolidate recent advances, new perspectives, and novel alternatives of control.