Cultivation of Campylobacter 


Testing for Campylobacter

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Campylobacter spp. are currently regarded as the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. The species that causes Campylobacter infection (campylobacteriosis) most frequently is C. jejuni. Campylobacteriosis leads to inflammatory, sometimes bloody, diarrhea or dysentery, as well as cramps, fever and abdominal pain. The debilitating neurological disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) as well as reactive arthritis have also been associated with recent infections with certain C. jejuni strains. C. lari and the emerging pathogen C. upsaliensis have also been reported in a small percentage of cases of human Campylobacter infections. Campylobacter spp. are highly infectious: as few as 500 bacteria can cause illness. Campylobacter infections are usually caused by consuming cross-contaminated or insufficiently processed food (typically red meat, poultry, shellfish or unpasteurized milk). Less common are infections as a consequence of eating contaminated fruit or vegetables. In addition, water contaminated with animal and avian feces, agricultural run-off and sewage effluent can act as sources for infection with Campylobacter bacteria.

Campylobacter Testing and Cultivation

There is an increasing demand for testing to meet new regulations regarding Campylobacter levels in poultry. The majority of Campylobacter spp. are metabolically not very active, making identification based on biochemical characteristics difficult.

Dehydrated culture media for cultivating Campylobacter are a part of Merck’s range of food industry media. Our unique, granules cause far less dust than powdered media and dissolve rapidly in water, with only minimal separation of components or clumping - even under warm, humid conditions. The granules’ excellent solubility and homogeneity make testing very easy and highly efficient. Like all of Merck’s dehydrated culture media, our Campylobacter media meet the stringent performance standards set out in ISO 11133.

Detection of Campylobacter

Detection of Campylobacter

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Reference Method

MethodISO 10272-1FDA BAM
Chapter 7
FSIS MLG 41.00
Pre-enrichment Bolton broth, 37 ± 1°C; 4-6 h, microaerophilic Bolton broth, 37 ± 1°C; 4 h, microaerophilic or 30°C, 3 h + 37°C, 2 h Microaerophilic N/A
Selective enrichment Bolton broth 41.5°C, 44 ± 4 h microaerophilic Bolton broth 42°C, 20 and 44 ± 4 h microaerophilic BPW + 2 x blood-free Bolton broth, 42 ± 1°C; 48 ± 2 h, microaerophilic
Isolation mCCD agar + additional, 41.5°C;
44 ± 4 h, microaerophilic
mCCD agar or AHB Agar, (37 - 42°C; 24 - 48 h, microaerophilic Campy-Cefex Agar, 42 ± 1°C; 48 ± 2 h, microaerophilic
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