2018 Volume 35 Issue 3 Pages 127-133
Campylobacter species is slow-growing and extremely susceptible to atmospheric conditions. Therefore, the administrative disposition of this species is difficult and time-consuming in food poisoning incidences. We aimed to develop a two-step screening method for determining Campylobacter food poisoning. The method selected for suspected Campylobacter incidence using information from epidemiological investigation and subsequently detected the presence of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We studied the epidemiological characteristics and performed PCR screening of 17 incidences of suspected food poisoning by C. jejuni and C. coli in the Gifu Prefecture. The epidemiological characteristics of incidences caused by C. jejuni and C. coli included a meal provided at the suspected causative facility, duration since the onset of symptoms after the intake of pathogen (incubation period), and the clinical symptoms exhibited by patients. The meals consumed included either raw/undercooked chicken meat at a restaurant or cooked meat prepared at dormitory/school by students. Incubation period of the pathogens was observed to be over 24 hr. There was a high prevalence of diarrhea and a low prevalence of vomiting. We aimed to target C. jejuni and C. coli for PCR screening. The results of PCR screening against the cultures revealed a sensitivity of 88% and specificity of 90% for C. jejuni and a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 98% for C. coli. The proposed PCR screening was found to be similarly apt for the identification of both C. jejuni and C. coli. These PCR results can be quickly obtained, thus offering a rapid system of diagnosis by food sanitation inspector and bacteriological examiner. Moreover, the two-step screening would be more economical and convenient to perform than comprehensive PCR screening.