Epidemiology and Infection

Specific identification, grouping and differentiation of Campylobacter jejuni among thermophilic campylobacters using multiplex PCR

V.  KOROLIK  a1 c1, D. T.  FRIENDSHIP  a2, T.  PEDURU-HEWA  a2, D. A.  ALFREDSON  a1, B. N.  FRY  a2 and P. J.  COLOE  a2
a1 School of Health Science, Griffith University Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
a2 Applied Biology and Environmental Biology, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Campylobacter species such as C. jejuni and C. coli are recognized as major causes of acute gastroenteritis world-wide. Although C. jejuni and C. coli are usually non-pathogenic in birds and animals, they cause enteric disease in humans and the source of infection is often the consumption of contaminated foodstuffs. In this paper we report on the development and use of a multiplex PCR of C. jejuni genomic DNA which yielded a PCR product with a unique polymorphic site that can be used to quickly and accurately identify and group C. jejuni isolates from any source including DNA, cell culture, skin washings and faecal samples. The test is simple and sensitive and can detect purified DNA from a single bacterium 102 cells from crude lysates, 103 cells in seeded faeces and 120 cells/ml of washing of 1 cm2 skin fragments of chicken skin.

(Accepted March 23 2001)

c1 Author for correspondence: School of Health Science, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail centre, Queensland 9726, Australia.