Impact Factor 4.076

The 3rd most cited journal in Microbiology

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00591

The potential of isolation source to predict colonization in avian hosts: a case study in Campylobacter jejuni strains from three bird species

  • 1Uppsala University, Sweden
  • 2University of Bath, United Kingdom
  • 3Linnaeus University, Sweden

Campylobacter jejuni is the primary cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide, infecting humans mostly through consumption of contaminated poultry. C. jejuni is common in the gut of wild birds, and shows distinct strain-specific association to particular bird species. This contrasts with farm animals, in which several genotypes co-exist. It is unclear if the barriers restricting transmission between host species of such specialist strains are related to environmental factors such as contact between host species, bacterial survival in the environment etc. or rather to strain specific adaptation to the intestinal environment of specific hosts. We compared colonization dynamics in vivo between two host-specific C. jejuni from a song thrush (ST-1304 complex) and a mallard (ST-995), and a generalist strain from chicken (ST-21 complex) in a wild host, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). In 18-days infection experiments, the song thrush strain showed only weak colonization and was cleared from all birds after 10 days, whereas both mallard and chicken strains remained stable. When the chicken strain was given 4 days prior to co-infection of the same birds with a mallard strain, it was rapidly outcompeted by the latter. In contrast, when the mallard strain was given 4 days prior to co-infection with the chicken strain, the mallard strain remained and expansion of the chicken strain was delayed. Our results suggest strain-specific differences in the ability of C. jejuni to colonize mallards, likely associated with host origin. This difference might explain observed host association patterns in C. jejuni from wild birds.

Keywords: Campylobacter, Interspecies transmission, colonization, Wild bird, Mallard, chicken

Received: 14 Nov 2017; Accepted: 14 Mar 2018.

Edited by:

Leonard Peruski, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States

Reviewed by:

Satoshi Ishii, University of Minnesota, United States
Amanda J. Kreuder, Iowa State University, United States
Diane G. Newell, University of Surrey, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Atterby, Mourkas, Méric, Pascoe, Wang, Waldenström, Sheppard, Olsen, Järhult and Ellström. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Patrik Ellström, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden,