The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Kufa participates in the Fifth Al-Kafeel University International Scientific Conference

Professor from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Kufa Participates in a Scientific Research Paper at an International Conference
Professor Dr. Abdullah Obaeis Alhatami, Head of the Department of Public Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Kufa, participated in a scientific research paper at the Fifth International Scientific Conference of Al-Kafeel University, which was held in cooperation with the University of Toledo (USA), Al-Ameed University, and Al-Kafeel Hospital, from February 17 to 18, 2024, at Al-Kafeel University in the holy city of Najaf, Republic of Iraq.
The title of the research paper was ” Species identification and virulence profile characterization of Campylobacter isolated from poultry”.
This study aimed to investigate local poultry for both Campylobacter species diversity and occurrence of human-relevant virulence genes in these bacteria. A total of 36 isolates from chickens in broiler, live bird markets, and from slaughtered broilers at a local slaughterhouse in the middle Euphrates region of Iraq, during the period between December 2020 and March 2021. All isolates were isolated and identified as Campylobacter spp. based on the bacteriological methods and biochemical reactions. The isolates were further confirmed by amplification of genus-specific 23S rRNA gene using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Then, the species diversity was investigated by primers targeting hipO gene specific for C. jejuni, glyA for C. coli, glyA for C. lari, glyA for C. upsaliensis, and sapB2 for C. fetus. The presence of four virulence genes, Campylobacter adhesion to fibronectin F (cadF), Cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) subunits A, B and C were screened using specific primers.
All 36 phenotypically characterized isolates were further confirmed by PCR as Campylobacter species where 18 (50%) of isolates were C. coli, 15 (41.6%) were C. jejuni , and 3 (3.8%) isolates of unknown species. Among the prevalence of virulence genes, 32 (88.9%) isolates were positive for cadF gene, 26 (72.2%) of isolates carried cdtA gene, 32 (88.9%) of isolates carried gene cdtB gene, and 28 (77.8%) carried cdtC gene. Briefly, the C. jejuni strains showed higher prevalence (100%) of cadF, cdtB, and cdtC genes. Additionally, the cdtA gene was present in 93.3% of C. jejuni strains. In comparison, the cadF, cdtB, and cdtA genes were found in lower frequency (77.7%, 55.6%, and 50%) in C. coli isolates. Moreover, seven virulence gene profiles were demonstrated, with predominance of pattern A.
The present findings shed light on the potential risks associated with handling and consuming poultry contaminated with these pathogens. Additionally, the data about prevalence of Campylobacter pathogenicity-associated genes will support local control and prevention programs.
Keywords: Broilers, campylobacter species, layers, species-specific PCR, virulotyping

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