TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona in Tucson has announced the development of a vaccine to control Campylobacter jejuni in poultry.

"Campylobacter is now the No. 1 food-borne pathogen in the United States and the world, surpassing Salmonella," said Lynn Joens, a professor in The University of Arizona department of veterinary science and microbiology. "In the United States alone, 2.4 million cases are reported annually, with costs exceeding $1 billion."

In research trials, the vaccine has reportedly reduced the pathogen's ability to colonize young chickens' intestines, where the infection begins. The goal is to halt the contamination before it spreads and survives on raw chicken sold in stores.

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

"The vaccine would be a great intervention method for Campylobacter when the USDA and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) mandate reduced numbers of food-borne pathogens in chicken - probably in two to three years," Joens said. "Once it becomes available, the vaccine should cost about a penny per chick. More importantly, it should greatly reduce the number of cases of human Campylobacter gastroenteritis."


Source: University of Arizona