Aims: To use amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis to evaluate the genetic relatedness among 254 Campylobacter jejuni reference and field strains of diverse origin representing all defined 'Penner' serotypes for this species. Methods and Results: Field strains (n = 207) from human diarrhoea and diverse animal and environmental sources were collected mainly through a National surveillance programme in Denmark and serotyped by use of the established 'Penner' scheme. Genetic relationships among these isolates, and the archetypal serotype reference strains, were assessed by numerical analysis of AFLP profiles derived from genomic DNA. Extensive genetic diversity was seen among the strains examined; however, 43 groups of isolates were identified at the 92% similarity (S-) level. Thirteen groups contained isolates from a single host, possibly representing genotypes of 'low risk' to human health. The remaining 30 groups contained isolates from humans, chickens and associated food products, cattle, sheep, turkeys, ostriches and/or dogs. Strains assigned to serotypes 2, 6/7, 11 and 12 formed major clusters at the 77.6% S-level. Most other serotypes did not form homogeneous clusters. conclusions: High-resolution genotyping applied to strains from a comprehensive range of sources provides evidence for multiple sources of sporadic C. jejuni infection. The results suggest that public health protection measures should be directed at all foods of animal origin. Significance and Impct of the Study: The genetic relatedness among all 'Penner' serotypes of C. jejuni is assessed by AFLP analysis. In addition, further evidence of epidemic and host-specific clones of C. jejuni is provided.
Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2004, Vol 96, Issue 4, p. 795-802
serotyping; Campylobacter jejuni; epidemiology; amplified fragment length polymorphism