Crimson Publishers Publish With Us Reprints e-Books Video articles

Full Text

Novel Research in Sciences

Role of Ruminants in Occurrence and Prevalence Campylobacter Jejuni in Humans

Mohamed-Yousif Ibrahim Mohamed*

Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Food and Agriculture, United Arab of Emirates University, United Arab Emirates

*Corresponding author: Mohamed Yousif Ibrahim Mohamed, Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Food and Agriculture, United Arab of Emirates University, United Arab Emirates

Submission: July 24, 2021;Published: August 10, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/NRS.2021.08.000699

Volume8 Issue5
August, 2021


Campylobacter jejuni is a leading bacterial cause of foodborne illness in developed countries. Major environmental reservoirs of the pathogen include farm animals and wild birds. Through incidental contamination during livestock production, Campylobacter jejuni can enter and proliferate in slaughter, packing, and processing systems and contaminate food to cause human diseases. In addition to foodborne illness, zoonotic transmission of C. jejuni to humans has been frequently reported. This review simply describes the role and epidemiological investigations of ruminants in the transmission of C. jejuni from farms to humans.

Keywords:Campylobacter jejuni; Ruminant products; Epidemiological investigations; Human


Campylobacteriosis is a foodborne disease in humans caused by thermophilic Campylobacter spp., mainly Campylobacter jejuni [1]. Campylobacter are slender, spirally curved, gram-negative rods with a characteristic corkscrew-like darting motility. In comparison with other food-borne bacterial pathogens, Campylobacter are more fragile and require microaerobic conditions for growth [2]. Campylobacter jejuni is widespread among livestock and poultry, usually colonizing the intestines without causing clinical diseases [3]. Animals harboring C. jejuni consistently shed the bacteria through feces, spreading within and among animal species on farms [4]. Wild mammals and wild birds have been identified as possible reservoirs for C. jejuni transmission to agricultural animals because they carry C. jejuni in their gut and also, these animals could be possible potential reservoirs for human [5,6]. Thus far, compylobacterosis has been reported in wild birds and mammals.

A wide range of diseases can be caused by Campylobacter spp. in ruminants. The disease includes infertility, abortion, and diarrhea in both sheep and cattle, and C. jejuni is the most prevalent species in these animals [7,8]. According to Burrough et al. [9], in the United States, a high prevalence of C. jejuni was detected among pigs with diarrhea. Also, since 2003, Campylobacter jejuni has become the main cause of sheep abortions in the United States [10]. In the United Kingdom, Campylobacter jejuni often occurs in cattle in clinically healthy animals [11]. The occurrence of C. jejuni in South Africa has been shown to be high among goats on farms and particularly among diarrheic feces compared to non-diarrheic feces [12- 14]. Fundamentally, the major reservoirs of this pathogen for ruminants and pigs on the farms are wild birds and environmental sources, such as water and insects. Wild birds influence the prevalence of C. jejuni in different ruminant and pig farms through their behavioral patterns [6-15]. In other words, wild birds usually eat food of mixed animal and vegetable origin and seek farms on the ground close to animals where they are very likely to transmit C. jejuni through their fecal droppings; thus, wild birds may play a significant role in sustaining the epidemiology of C. jejuni on farms by contaminating the ground, soil, feed, and water [4]. According to Leblanc Maridor et al. [16], a high prevalence of C. jejuni infection was detected among the piglets on the pig farms in France; however, there was no molecular epidemiology evidence implicating any environmental sources on the farm; in addition, the authors describe the means of infection as being from the mothers to the piglets. Other studies isolated C. jejuni from the ruminant and pig houses in the floor, walls, water, and feed in the troughs [10-17]. According to Gwimi et al. [18], the prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli in Nigeria was shown to be high among pigs (92.7%) and humans (62.7%).

According to epidemiological investigations, the incidence of high interrelatedness in the C. jejuni genotype detected in mutton, beef, and pork with that of Campylobacteriosis in human, indicate that meat could serve as a vehicle for C. jejuni to human [19,20]. In developed countries, meats are one of the main causes of C. jejuni, and, recently, there has been an important correlation between handling meat and eating raw meat or undercooked meat and the cases of Campylobacteriosis in humans [21]. However, the prevalence of C. jejuni is clearly dissimilar in different types of meat. In Poland, there is a prevalence of C. jejuni in beef (66.7%) and pork (68.6%) [22]. In Greece, a high incidence of C. jejuni was detected in retail lamb that was sampled in the areas closest to consumer purchase [23]. While in the United States, there is strong molecular characterization suggestion for the transmission of C. jejuni from the ruminant meats to humans, which suggests that C. jejuni is a significant threat to public health [24]. Campylobacter jejuni has the ability of proliferating in ruminant slaughterhouses and contaminating the equipment and products [25]. So far, numerous reports have recognized the epidemiological proofs for the zoonotic transmission of C. jejuni strains from beef to humans [26,27], and a few reports have implicated ruminant meats as sources of C. jejuni. Consequently, because of the increasing number of Campylobacteriosis in humans, and the importance of meats as a source of C. jejuni, further comparable data related to the spread of C. jejuni in meats are needed.

From this study, caution should be taken in slaughterhouses handling the meat using mesh gloves [28]. It has been reported that using these gloves participate significantly to the spreading of pathogens over the carcass and equipment, such as tables, chutes, and plastic cutting boards [29]. Further, amended surveillance tools in the meat production chain are essential for the control of C. jejuni in humans, as C. jejuni can survive for hours on hands, gloves, and moist surfaces [28]. Unpasteurized milk is one of the leading agents of transmission of C. jejuni to humans in developed countries [30]. In the United Kingdom, the fractional fail of milk pasteurization is paving the way for the transmission of C. jejuni from cattle to humans [31]. Other reports suggested that dairy products might play a significant role in the transmission of C. jejuni from farms to humans [32,33]. In the Netherlands, 64.7% (22/34) children who visited a dairy farm showed diarrheal disease of C. jejuni, and drinking raw milk was correlated with the disease; in addition, 30% of cattle tested positive for C. jejuni [34]. In California, unpasteurized milk has been associated with about 80% of Campylobacteriosis outbreaks [33]. However, Campylobacteriosis in human has been associated with unpasteurized milk in multiple states. Before processing the milk it could be contaminated through the handling procedures as well as milk production. Yuen & Alam [34] tested the raw milk hygiene among dairy farmers in the Tawau area Sabah, Malaysia. They found that appropriate hygiene treatment was able to reduce the bacterial amount to an acceptable level in all stages of the study. Thus, to reach an acceptable bacterial level for raw milk, it is essential to decrease the period before processing the milk and freezing the milk should immediately after milking.


Campylobacter jejuni is one of the main agents of gastroenteritis in humans and animal products are play as carriers of this pathogen from farms to humans. In the present review, the occurrence of C. jejuni is frequent in ruminant meats. Further studies certainly need to be done on the survivability of C. jejuni in ruminant meats. It is also recommended to study C. jejuni from different food chain steps such as from ruminant farms (water, flies, and wild birds), slaughterhouses (tables, chutes, and plastic cutting boards), and markets, then characterize the isolates by molecular typing and compared with the human Campylobacteriosis isolates to identify the source of the C. jejuni.


  1. Mohamed Yousif IM (2021) Occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in foodborne bacteria (Campylobacter and coli): A food safety issue and public health hazard. Nutri Food Sci Int J 11(1): 555801.
  2. ELraheam EL, Sayed MSA, Tarabees R, Shehata AA, Harb, et al. (2019) Virulence repertoire and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli isolated from some poultry farms in Menoufia governorate, Egypt. Pak Vet J 39(2).
  3. Yousif MIM, Abu J, Aziz SA, Zunita Z, Rashid KA, et al. (2019) Occurrence of antibiotic resistant jejuni and E. coli in Wild Birds, Chickens, Environment and Humans from Orang Asli Villages in Sungai Siput, Perak, Malaysia. Am J Anim Vet Sci 14(3): 158-169.
  4. Mohamed Yousif IM, Aziz SA, Jalila Abu, Bejo KS, Leong CP, et al. (2019) Occurrence of antibiotic resistant Campylobacter in wild birds and poultry. Malaysian Journal of Microbiology 15(2): 143-151.
  5. Olkkola S, Rossi M, Jaakkonen A, Simola M, Tikkanen J, et al. (2021) Host dependent clustering of Campylobacter strains from small mammals in Finland. Frontiers in microbiology 11: 3520.
  6. Mohamed-Yousif, IM (2021) Wild birds as possible source of Campylobacter jejuni. Appro Poult Dairy & Vet Sci 8(3).
  7. Ocejo M, Oporto B, Hurtado A (2019) Occurrence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in cattle and sheep in northern Spain and changes in antimicrobial resistance in two studies 10-years apart. Pathogens 8(3): 98.
  8. Burrough E, Terhorst S, Sahin O, Zhang Q (2013) Prevalence of Campylobacter Relative to other enteric pathogens in grow-finish pigs with diarrhea. Anaerobe 22: 111-114.
  9. Dai L, Wu Z, Xu C, Sahin O, Yaeger M, et al. (2019) The Rho-independent transcription terminator for the porA gene enhances expression of the major outer membrane protein and Campylobacter jejuni virulence in abortion induction. Infect Immun 87(12): e00687-e00619.
  10. Wu Z, Sippy R, Sahin O, Plummer P, Vidal A, et al. (2014) Genetic diversity and antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter jejuni isolates associated with sheep abortion in the United States and Great Britain. J Clin Microbiol 52(6): 1853-1861.
  11. Blagojevic B, Antic D, Ducic M, Buncic S (2012) Visual cleanliness scores of cattle at slaughter and microbial loads on the hides and the carcases. Vet Rec 170(22): 563.
  12. Ngobese B, Zishiri OT, El Zowalaty ME (2020) Molecular detection of virulence genes in Campylobacter species isolated from livestock production systems in South Africa. J Integr Agric 19(6): 1656-1670.
  13. Mpalang, RK, Boreux, R, Melin, P, Daube, G, De Mol, P (2014) Prevalence of Campylobacter Among Goats and Retail Goat Meat in Congo. J Infect Dev Ctries 8(02): 168-175.
  14. Egbenni UPO, Bessong PO, Samie S, Obi CL (2011) Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of Campylobacter jejuni and coli isolated from diarrheic and non-diarrheic goat faeces in venda region, South Africa. Afr J Biotechnol 10(64): 14116-14124.
  15. Maridor LM, Denis M, Chidaine B, Belloc C (2013) Dynamic of Campylobacter infection within pig farms from sows to fattening pigs. Safe Pork 2013 Proceedings pp. 60-63.
  16. Jalo IM, Aziz SA, Bitrus AA, Goni MD, Jalila Abu, et al. (2018) Occurrence of Multidrug Resistant (MDR) Campylobacter species isolated from retail Chicken meats in Selangor, Malaysia and their associated risk factors. Malaysian Journal of Microbiology 14(3): 272-281.
  17. Gwimi PB, Faleke OO, Salihu MD, Magaji AA, Abubakar MB, et al. (2015) Prevalence of Campylobacter Species in fecal samples of pigs and humans from zuru kebbi state, Nigeria. Int J One Health 1: 1-5.
  18. Assiene, SDO, Ngah, E, Ndjonka, D (2020) Bacteriological profile of Campylobacter spp isolated from pigs in cameroon: A review. Microbiol Res J Int 30(12): 1-11.
  19. Silva DT, Tejada TS, Menezes BD, Dias PA, Timm CD (2016) Campylobacter species isolated from poultry and humans, and their analysis using PFGE in southern Brazil. Int J Food Microbiol 217: 189-194.
  20. Aksomaitiene J, Ramonaite S, Tamuleviciene E, Novoslavskij A, Alter T, et al. (2019) Overlap of antibiotic resistant Campylobacter jejuni MLST genotypes isolated from humans, broiler products, dairy cattle and wild birds in Lithuania. Front microbiol 10: 1377.
  21. Yousif Ibrahim MMohamed (2021) Occurrence of Campylobacter jejuni in poultry meats. Novel Research in Sciences 8(1):
  22. Dorota K, Elżbieta M, Elżbieta R, Monika Z (2015) Prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in Retail Chicken, Turkey, Pork, and Beef Meat in Poland between 2009 and 2013. J Food Prot 78(5): 1024-1028.
  23. Lazou T, Dovas C, Houf K, Soultos N, Iossifidou E (2014) Diversity of Campylobacter in retail meat and liver of lambs and goat kids. Foodborne Pathog Dis 11(4): 320-328.
  24. Sahin O, Fitzgerald C, Stroika S, Zhao S, Sippy RJ, et al. (2011) Molecular evidence for zoonotic transmission of an emergent highly pathogenic Campylobacter jejuni clone in the United States. J Clin Microbiol 50(3): 680-687.
  25. Shafiei A, Rahimi E, Shakerian A (2020) Prevalence, virulence and anti-microbial resistance in Campylobacter spp. from routine slaughtered ruminants, as a concern of public health (Case: Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran). J Complement Med Res 11(1): 302-315.
  26. Ghatak S, He Y, Reed S, Irwin P (2020) Comparative genomic analysis of a multidrug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni strain YH002 isolated from retail beef liver. Foodborne Pathog Dis 17(9): 576-584.
  27. Pao S Hagens BE, Kim C, Wildeus S, Ettinger MR, Wilson MD, et al. (2014) Prevalence and molecular analyses of Campylobacter jejuni and salmonella spp. in co-grazing small ruminants and wild-living birds. Livest Sci 160: 163-171.
  28. Bolton DJ (2015) Campylobacter virulence and survival factors. Food Microbiol 48: 99-108.
  29. Andrzejewska M, Szczepańska B, Śpica D, Klawe JJ (2019) Prevalence, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter spp. in raw milk, beef, and pork meat in Northern Poland. Foods 8(9): 420.
  30. Fernandes AM, Balasegaram S, Willis C, Wimalarathna HML, Maiden MC, et al. (2015) Partial failure of milk pasteurization as a risk for the transmission of Campylobacter from cattle to humans. Clin. Infect. Dis. 61(6): 903-909.
  31. Davis KR, Dunn AC, Burnett C, McCullough L, Dimond M, et al. (2016) Campylobacter jejuni infections associated with raw milk consumption- utah, 2014. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 65(12): 301-305.
  32. Russell JMT, Mandrell RE, Yuan J, Bates A, Manalac R, et al. (2013) Using major outer membrane protein typing as an epidemiological tool to investigate outbreaks caused by milk-borne Campylobacter jejuni isolates in california. J Clin Microbiol 51(1): 195.
  33. Heuvelink AE, Heerwaarden CV, Nahuis ZA, Tilburg JJHC, Bos MH, et al. (2009) Two outbreaks of Campylobacteriosis associated with the consumption of raw cows’ milk. Int J Food Microbiol 134(1-2): 70-4.
  34. Yuen SK, Alam MR (2016) Effect of modified pre-milking sanitizing approaches on raw milk quality obtained from the dairy farmers of Tawau area, Sabah. TURJAF 4(1): 5-8.

© 2021 Mohamed-Yousif I M. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.