Campylobacter coli is an infrequently studied but important food-borne pathogen with a wide natural distribution. We investigated its molecular epidemiology by use of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)-based genotyping and Penner serotyping. Serotype reference strains and 177 Danish isolates of diverse origin identified by routine phenotyping as C coli were examined. Molecular tools identified some 12% of field isolates as Campylobacter jejuni, emphasizing the need for improved identification methods in routine laboratories. Cluster analysis of AFLP profiles of 174 confirmed C. coli isolates revealed a difference in the distribution of isolates from pig and poultry (chicken, duck, turkey, and ostrich) species and indicated the various poultry species, but not pigs, to be likely sources of human C. coli infection. A poor correlation was observed between serotyping and AFLP profiling, suggesting that the former method has limited value in epidemiological studies of this species.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2005, Vol 71, Issue 4, p. 1953-1958