Diversities and similarities in PFGE profiles of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from migrating birds and humans

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Aims: To genetically sub-type Campylobacter jejuni strains isolated from migratory birds, and to compare these with clinical strains collected in the same area and corresponding time period, with the aim to increase our knowledge on sub-types occurring among wild birds and their possible impact on human disease. Methods and Results: We sub-typed C. jejuni strains from migrating birds (n = 89) and humans (n = 47), using macrorestriction profiling by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Isolates from migrant birds often exhibited sub-types with higher levels of similarity to isolates from birds of the same species or feeding guild, than to isolates from other groups of birds. Likewise, could the vast majority of sub-types found among the migrant bird isolates not be identified among sub-types from human cases. Only two bird strains, one from a starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and one from a blackbird (Turdus merula), had sub-types that were similar to some of the human strain sub-types. Conclusions: Isolates from one bird species, or feeding guild, often exhibited high similarities, indicating a common transmission source for individuals, or an association between certain sub-types of C. jejuni and certain ecological guilds or phylogenetic groups of birds. Sub-types occurring among wild birds were in general distinctively different from those observed in patients. The two bird isolates that were similar to human strains were isolated from bird species that often live in close associations with human settlements. Significance and Impact of Study: Wild birds have often been mentioned as a potential route for transmission of C. jejuni to humans. Our study demonstrates that strains isolated from birds most often are different from clinical strains, but that some strain similarities occur, notably in birds strongly associated with human activities.


  • T Broman
  • Jonas Waldenström
  • D Dahlgren
  • I Carlsson
  • I Eliasson
  • B Olsen
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ekologi
Sidor (från-till)834-843
TidskriftJournal of Applied Microbiology
StatusPublished - 2004
Peer review utfördJa


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