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Journal Article 
Distribution of Colonization and Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Campylobacter jejuni Isolated from Chicken 
Thibodeau, A; Fravalo, P; Garneau, P; Masson, L; Laurent-Lewandowski, S; Quessy, S; Harel, J; Letellier, A 
In Press 
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
ISSN: 1535-3141
EISSN: 1556-7125 
Abstract Campylobacter jejuni is an important worldwide foodborne pathogen commonly found as a commensal organism in poultry that can reach high numbers within the gut after colonization. Although information regarding some genes involved in colonization is available, little is known about their distribution in strains isolated specifically from chickens and whether there is a linkage between antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and colonization genes. To assess the distribution and relevance of genes associated with chicken colonization and AMR, a C. jejuni microarray was created to detect 254 genes of interest in colonization and AMR including variants. DNA derived from chicken-specific Campylobacter isolates collected in 2003 (n=29) and 2008 (n=28) was hybridized to the microarray and compared. Hybridization results showed variable colonization-associated gene presence. Acquired AMR genes were low in prevalence whereas chemotaxis receptors, arsenic resistance genes, as well as genes from the cell envelope and flagella functional groups were highly variable in their presence. Strains clustered into two groups, each linked to different control strains, 81116 and NCTC11168. Clustering was found to be independent of collection time. We also show that AMR weakly associated with the CJ0628 and arsR genes. Although other studies have implicated numerous genes associated with C. jejuni chicken colonization, our data on chicken-specific isolates suggest the opposite. The enormous variability in presumed colonization gene prevalence in our chicken isolates suggests that many are of lesser importance than previously thought. Alternatively, this also suggests that combinations of genes may be required for natural colonization of chicken intestines. 
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