Volatile organic compounds from chicken faeces were investigated as biomarkers for Campylobacter infection. Campylobacter are major poultry-borne zoonotic pathogens, colonizing the avian intestinal tract. Chicken faeces are the principal source of contamination of carcasses. Fresh faeces were collected on farm sites, and Campylobacter status established microbiologically. Volatile organic compounds were pre-concentrated from the headspace above 71 separate faecal samples using solid-phase microextraction and separated and identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A Campylobacter-specific profile was identified using six of the extracted volatile organic compounds. The model developed reliably identified the presence or absence of Campylobacter in >95% of chickens. The volatile biomarker identification approach for assessing avian infection is a novel approach to enhancing biosecurity in the poultry industry and should reduce the risk of disease transmission to humans.
Bibliographical notePublisher: Informa Healthcare
Other: Centre for Research in Analytical, Materials, and Sensor Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK