• Genetic characterisation of a subset of Campylobacter jejuni isolates from clinical and poultry sources in Ireland

      Truccollo, Brendha; Whyte, Paul; Burgess, Catherine; Bolton, Declan; Teagasc; 0028 (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2021-03-09)
      Campylobacter spp. is a significant and prevalent public health hazard globally. Campylobacter jejuni is the most frequently recovered species from human cases and poultry are considered the most important reservoir for its transmission to humans. In this study, 30 Campylobacter jejuni isolates were selected from clinical (n = 15) and broiler (n = 15) sources from a larger cohort, based on source, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance profiles. The objective of this study was to further characterise the genomes of these isolates including MLST types, population structure, pan-genome, as well as virulence and antimicrobial resistance determinants. A total of 18 sequence types and 12 clonal complexes were identified. The most common clonal complex was ST-45, which was found in both clinical and broiler samples. We characterised the biological functions that were associated with the core and accessory genomes of the isolates in this study. No significant difference in the prevalence of virulence or antimicrobial resistance determinants was observed between clinical and broiler isolates, although genes associated with severe illness such as neuABC, wlaN and cstIII were only detected in clinical isolates. The ubiquity of virulence factors associated with motility, invasion and cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) synthesis in both clinical and broiler C. jejuni genomes and genetic similarities between groups of broiler and clinical C. jejuni reaffirm that C. jejuni from poultry remains a significant threat to public health.