Surveillance for Campylobacter infections in indigenous poultry reared in Nsukka, Nigeria
Keywords:Campylobacter; food safety; indigenous poultry; local chicken; Nigeria; public health; risk practices
Campylobacter is the leading cause of bacterial foodborne diseases worldwide. Poultry is indisputably the major reservoir of Campylobacter for human infection but dearth of data exists on the epidemiology of the infection in poultry in Nigeria. Consequently, the study determined the occurrence and distribution of Campylobacter infections and also the risk practices aiding the transmission in indigenous poultry reared in Nsukka, Nigeria. The bacteria isolation was done following standard microbiological protocol. The overall prevalence of the infection was 18.9%. The specific prevalence was 19.6% and 17.8% in indigenous chicken and turkey respectively. In the chicken, frizzled feather and naked neck breeds had prevalence of 30.8% and 26.1% respectively while the normal feather breed had the lowest prevalence of 13.7%. In both chicken and turkey, the infection was more during the wet season and in birds raised under extensive husbandry management. Major risk practices found were sale of untreated poultry faeces as organic fertilizer, eating during farm operations and non-use of protective clothing. The 18.9% prevalence is lower than 36% reported in 2010 but is very significant from food safety and public health perspectives. Considering the zoonotic and economic consequences associated with Campylobacter infection, adoption of farm-to-fork concept principles in indigenous poultry production in Nsukka is recommended, for further reduction or possible elimination of the infection. Proper treatment of poultry faeces before disposal or before use as feed (in fish or pig farms) or manure (in vegetable gardens) is important to curtail inter species transmission of Campylobacter in the study area.
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