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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (6): 1656-1670    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62844-3
Special Issue: 动物医学合辑Veterninary Medicine
Animal Science · Veterinary Medicine Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Molecular detection of virulence genes in Campylobacter species isolated from livestock production systems in South Africa
Bongekile NGOBESE1, Oliver Tendayi ZISHIRI1, Mohamed Ezzat EL ZOWALATY2, 3 
1 Discipline of Genetics, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa
2 Zoonosis Science Center, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala SE-75185, Sweden
3 Infectious Diseases and Anti-Infective Therapy Research Group, College of Pharmacy and Sharjah Medical Research Institute, University of Sharjah, Sharjah 27272, UAE
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Campylobacter species are a major cause of foodborne bacterial infections in both developed and developing countries worldwide.  Campylobacter jejuni is responsible for the majority of infections.  This study was conducted to identify virulence-associated genes in Campylobacter species isolated from livestock production systems in South Africa.  A total of 250 fecal samples consisting of cattle (n=50), chickens (n=50), goats (n=50), sheep (n=50) and pigs (n=50) were randomly collected from livestock in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa between April and October 2018.  The samples were analyzed for the presence of virulence genes in Campylobacter species using molecular PCR-based methods.  It was found that 77 and 23% of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli respectively were isolated from all the livestock samples.  There were positive significant (P<0.05) correlations amongst all the virulence genes that were investigated.  Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were implemented to test for the effect of livestock species on the presence or absence of virulence genes.  The study demonstrated that most of livestock species can potentially cause zoonotic infections and food poisoning due to the high prevalence of Campylobacter.  The high prevalence of virulence genes highlights the significance of Campylobacter in livestock production systems in South Africa.  This requires the implementation of one-health approaches to reduce the impact of foodborne and zoonotic diseases for the welfare of human and animal health.
Keywords:  Campylobacter        zoonotic        cytotoxicity        pathogenicity        virulence        campylobacteriosis        foodborne        livestock        PCR        one-health  
Received: 29 April 2019   Accepted:
Fund: We would like to thank the South African National Research Foundation for supporting this research through the Thuthuka Funding Instrument (TTK170411226583).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence Mohamed Ezzat El Zowalaty, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

Bongekile NGOBESE, Oliver Tendayi ZISHIRI, Mohamed Ezzat EL ZOWALATY. 2020. Molecular detection of virulence genes in Campylobacter species isolated from livestock production systems in South Africa. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(6): 1656-1670.

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