Experimental Chick Colonization by Campylobacter jejuni

Lindsay Davis1, Victor DiRita2

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2 Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Microbiology
Unit Number:  Unit 8A.3
DOI:  10.1002/9780471729259.mc08a03s11
Online Posting Date:  November, 2008
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Campylobacter jejuni is commonly isolated from animals, including rodents, farm animals, and especially birds. The most common route of infection for humans is through the ingestion of contaminated chicken. Although C. jejuni commonly inhabits a number of animals, it does so asymptomatically. Many animals have been explored for use in pathogenic models; however, the most commonly used and established animal model is the chick colonization model described in this unit. Curr. Protoc. Microbiol. 11:8A.3.1‐8A.3.7. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: campylobacteriosis; chicken; colonization; cecum

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Table of Contents

  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
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Basic Protocol 1:

  • Fertilized Leghorn chicken eggs (Charles River Laboratories)
  • C. jejuni (unit 8.1)
  • Mueller‐Hinton (MH) agar plates (BD Biosciences) containing 10 µg/ml trimethoprim (TMP)
  • Phosphate‐buffered saline (PBS; appendix 2A)
  • Isoflurane
  • 100% ethanol
  • MH agar plates (BD Biosciences) containing 10 µg/ml TMP, with and without 100 µg/ml streptomycin and 30 µg/ml cefaparazone
  • Rocking incubator (Fig. ; G.Q.F. Manufacturing Company Circulated Air Incubator, Model 1502; https://www.gqfmfg.com)
  • Water pan with sock wick (built into incubator)
  • Hygrometer (built into incubator)
  • Cardboard containers for holding eggs in incubator (supplied with the fertile eggs)
  • Brooding cages (Model LC‐1901‐5; Research Equipment Company, Bryan, Texas), 90° to 95°C
  • Heat lamps
  • 1‐liter Jam‐Jar Chick Drinkers (Amazing Animal Accessories, http://www.amazinganimal.co.uk)
  • Spectrophotometer
  • 1‐ml syringe
  • Ball‐point syringe tips (Fisher Scientific, cat. no. 01‐290‐4B)
  • Tight‐sealing container (such as a 2‐ to 3‐liter Tupperware container)
  • Dissecting tools (scalpel, scissors, tweezers)
  • Petri plates, sterile
  • Additional reagents and equipment for growing C. jejuni under microaerophilic conditions (unit 8.1) and quantifying bacteria by optical density ( appendix 4A)
NOTE: It is imperative to keep PBS‐infected control chicks, as well as chicks with different inocula, separate. C. jejuni is able to transfer between chicks very easily. The authors recommend brooding cages with Plexiglas dividers and separate water and food dishes (initial description in Stern et al., ).
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Literature Cited

Literature Cited
   Bacon, D.J., Alm, R.A., Burr, D.H., Hu, L., Kopecko, D.J., Ewing, C.P., Trust, T.J., and Guerry, P. 2000. Involvement of a plasmid in virulence of Campylobacter jejuni 81‐176. Infect. Immun. 68:4384‐4390.
   Chang, C. and Miller, J.F. 2006. Campylobacter jejuni colonization of mice with limited enteric flora. Infect. Immun. 74:5261‐5271.
   Hendrixson, D.R. and DiRita, V.J. 2004. Identification of Campylobacter jejuni genes involved in commensal colonization of the chick gastrointestinal tract. Mol. Microbiol. 52:471‐484.
   Mansfield, L.S., Bell, J.A., Wilson, D.L., Murphy, A.J., Elsheikha, H.M., Rathinam, V.A., Fierro, B.R., Linz, J.E., and Young, V.B. 2007. C57BL/6 and congenic interleukin‐10‐deficient mice can serve as models of Campylobacter jejuni colonization and enteritis. Infect. Immun. 75:1099‐1115.
   Newell, D. G. 2001. Animal models of Campylobacter jejuni colonization and disease and the lessons to be learned from similar Helicobacter pylori models. J. Appl. Microbiol. 90:57S‐67S.
   Stern, N.J., Bailey, J.S., Blankenship, L.C., Cox, N.A., and McHan, F. 1988. Colonization characteristics of Campylobacter jejuni in chick ceca. Avian Dis. 32:330‐334.
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