Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2014 The Authors. A free-range broiler breeder flock was studied in order to determine the natural patterns of Campylobacter colonization over a period of 63 weeks. Campylobacter sequence types (STs) were not mutually exclusive and on average colonized only 17.7% of the birds tested at any time. CampylobacterSTs typically reached a peak in prevalence upon initial detection in the flock before tailing off, although the ST and antigenic flaA short variable region in combination were stable over a number of months. There was evidence that, with a couple of exceptions, the ecology of C.jejuni and C.coli differed, with the latter forming a more stable population. Despite being free range, no newly colonizing STs were detected over a 6-week period in autumn and a 10-week period in winter, towards the end of the study. There was limited evidence that those STs identified among broiler chicken flocks on the same farm site were likely to colonize the breeder flock earlier (R2 0.16, P 0.01). These results suggest that there is natural control of Campylobacter dynamics within a flock which could potentially be exploited in designing new intervention strategies, and that the two different species should perhaps be considered separately.

Original publication




Journal article


Environmental Microbiology

Publication Date





938 - 946