C. jejuni is a normal inhabitant in a wide variety of wild and domestic animal’s intestinal tract. Retail product contamination occurs by de-feathering, evisceration, and dipping during the slaughtering process (31). C. jejuni colonizes the mucus overlying epithelial cells primarily in the ceca and the small intestine of chicken, but could also be recovered from elsewhere in the gut and from the liver and spleen (32). From the data presented in (Table 2 and Table 3) concerning isolation, biochemical and molecular confirmation using 23S rRNA and mapA most of the obtained isolates 25/170 (14.7%) proved to be C. jejuni. This fact is confirmed by the results gained by (33, 34) from Belgium and Egypt. Furthermore, Campylobacter jejuni considered a leading cause of enteric illness in many western countries, developing countries and European Union (35). Additionally, C. jejuni is linked strongly with the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune syndrome characterized by respiratory and severe neurological dysfunction leading to death (9).
The virulence and survival factors of C. jejuni basically confined to colonization, motility, adhesion, invasion, toxin production, iron acquisition and antimicrobial resistance. In this study, we utilized PCR based on known genetic sequences to explore a subset of putative C. jejuni virulence-associated genes those involved in infection (Table 3).
The major flagellin protein controlled by flagellar encoding gens FlaA and FlaB (10). We found that the frequency of FlaA was 3/25 (12%) lower than (34) who obtained 35.75% from Egypt. Commenting on the result of (iamA) which is designated an invasion-associated marker, in some C. jejuni and C. coli strains (16,1). This gene was confirmed in 2/25 (8%) of C. jejuni isolates which was lower than results gained by (36). The occurrence of the virB11 gene was a marker for the plasmid pVir, this gene was associated with invasiveness. It should be noted that the prevalence of the virB11 gene in the C. jejuni isolates represented 3/25 (12%) although low, it was higher than results gained by (37) and nearly similar to (33). Concerning the production of cytotoxin, this study proved that cdtA possessed the highest frequency in all isolates 100%, this widespread of cdt genes amongst poultry isolates confirmed by (33,38). Moreover, their data suggested an association between CDT production and clinical outcome in addition to other virulence factors. The participation of cdtA gene in the development of infection in chicken seems to be significant considering its high detection (100%). Campylobacter multidrug resistance problems surfaced as a serious one, which is basically mediated by the active multidrug efflux pump (22). From our results (Table 3) it was clear that most of the C. jejuni isolates characterized by a high resistance to Ampicillin, Nalidixic acid, Lincomycin, Chloramphenicol, Cefotaxime and Trimethoprim /Sulphamethoxazole. The apparent Resistance Index (RI) was so high in all Campylobacter isolates which expressed six groups according to their resistance patterns with RI values range from 0.67 to 1. This high resistance pattern to Ampicillin confirmed by (39) who regarded this resistance to overproduction of beta-lactamases. Added to that, the resistance to Ciprofloxacin, Nalidixic acid and Tetracycline come consistent with (28). On the other hand, the prominent susceptibility to Amikacin agrees with (34). The problem of high antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter sp. represented a great public health concern. The rational interpretation of such crisis is the frequent encountering of specific antimicrobials during commensal carriage in chicken and large animals or during human infections. There is strong evidence linking the uncontrolled usage of antimicrobials in animal production to the emergence and widespread of antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter spp. (22,23,24).
In conclusion, Campylobacter isolates from diseased and normal poultry cases harbored many virulence and cytotoxin genes which are crucial in the pathogenesis. The conducted study proved high cytotoxicity and antimicrobial resistance of C. jejuni and C. coli. The obtained results confirm that both species are serious and notorious infectious hazards of public health concern. Moreover, from our conclusions it is high time for potential applications of stringent control, public health and food protection strategies. These obtained results call for continuous monitoring and effective vaccine formulation strategies for lowering the excessive antimicrobial usage.