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Highly specific antibodies to reduce Campylobacter colonization in chickens.

Llama single-domain antibodies specific for C. jejuni were isolated from a phage display library generated from the heavy chain IgG variable domain repertoire of a llama immunized with C. jejuni flagella. Two flagella-specific single-domain antibodies were combined to generate high avidity antibodies capable of multivalent binding to target antigen. Oral administration of specific antibodies to C. jejuni-infected young broilers resulted in significant reduction in the C. jejuni colonization in the ceca. The antibodies also reduced the motility of the bacterium in vitro.

Immunization to reduce Campylobacter colonization in broiler chickens.

Laying hens were immunized with either a whole-cell lysate or the hydrophobic proteins of C. jejuni and their eggs were collected. Specific antibodies were shown to be induced in the egg yolk. Preventive administration of hyperimmune egg yolk significantly reduced Campylobacter colonization of seeder birds after inoculation with C. jejuni as well as transmission of the bacterium to non-seeder birds was even completely eliminated. Purified antibodies promoted bacterial binding to the chicken intestinal mucus, suggesting enhanced mucosal clearance in vivo. Further analyses identified several immunodominant proteins that could have potential for subunit vaccine development.

Risk factors for Campylobacter colonization of commercial broilers in France.

Campylobacter was isolated from 72% (87/121) of broiler flocks with average the concentration in positive flocks was about 8 log10 cfu/g feces at the end of the rearing period. Campylobacter prevalence was increased in June, July and August compared with other periods of the season. The other factors associated with lower risk of Campylobacter colonization were the acidification of drinking water, antibiotic treatment at the beginning of the rearing period, and rodent control around the house. These results indicate that hygiene practices and biosecurity measures could lead to a reduction in Campylobacter colonization in broilers.

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