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A EUROPEAN STUDY WARNS OF ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA PRESENCE IN CHICKEN MEAT

EUROPEAN STUDY WARNS OF ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA IN CHICKEN MEAT

What are the symptoms of Campylobacter infection?

The first symptoms are triggered two to five days after infection has occurred, and their duration is highly variable (ranging from one to ten days).

The most commonly reported clinical symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, and the acute stage lasts between three and six days. However, in some cases, complications such as irritable bowel syndrome, temporary paralysis (Guillain-Barré syndrome), arthritis or bacteraemia, among others, may develop.

How can it be prevented?

This bacterium is generally associated with warm environments, as it reproduces best in environments between 37 and 42 degrees Celsius. It is also highly adapted to poultry, so it is common for many cases of human infection to occur through ingestion of contaminated meat or water, as well as unpasteurised milk.

To prevent possible infection from contaminated food, it is recommended, among other measures, to cook or pasteurise it, as the bacterium cannot withstand high temperatures, and not to put cooked food back on the same plate it was on when it was raw.

How is it diagnosed?

Currently, the gold standard technique for detection is culture. However, this technique has several drawbacks, especially in cases of acute outbreaks: the procedure is slow, tedious and can give ambiguous results.

Alternative detection methods can be by antigen detection (e.g. ELISA, latex agglutination, immunomagnetic separation or rapid tests) or by molecular tests such as PCR.

In recent years, rapid tests have been gaining prominence due to their speed, sensitivity and specificity, although the latter are highly dependent on the manufacturer. OPERON has the Simple/Stick Campylobacter test for the detection of Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni in human faeces, the latter causing 90% of cases.

Rapid test for the detection of campylobacter

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