Detection of Campylobacter jejuni in chicken products using immunomagnetic separation

ABSTRACT Campylobacter jejuni is the main cause of acute bacterial gastroenteritis and chicken meat has shown to be an important source of infection. This microorganism is difficult to isolate and the conventional methods are often inefficient and may lead to erroneous results. This study aimed at developing and testing the technique of immunomagnetic separation (IMS) in the detection of C. jejuni in chicken products. Microparticles magnetically connected anti-C. jejuni polyclonal antibodies were used to concentrate C. jejuni before agar seeding. The protocol was compared with the conventional method. C. jejuni was recovered from experimentally contaminated food for both methods, however, when the IMS was used, the presence of contaminating microorganisms in the means of culture was smaller. C. jejuni was isolated from 7% of samples of food naturally contaminated, using IMS, and 3% by conventional method. C. coli was isolated from a sample by conventional method, but it was not detected by protocol with IMS. The IMS technique can be used for isolation of C. jejuni in food, offering the advantage of detecting the microorganism in samples from which the isolation is not obtained with the use of the conventional method.