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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Listeria monocytogenes in Broiler Flocks in Shiraz, Southern Iran

Prevalence and Risk Factors for Listeria monocytogenes in Broiler Flocks in Shiraz, Southern Iran


Listeria monocytogenes has been identified as an important foodborne pathogen in recent years. In humans, it most commonly affects pregnant women, neonates, children, elderly people, and persons with a suppressed immune system. It could contaminate both raw and cooked meat and poultry products. Studies regarding prevalence and risk factors of L. monocytogenes in broilers flocks are limited. Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors for L. monocytogenes in poultry flocks in Shiraz, southern Iran. During August to September 2009, in total, 100 broiler flocks were selected at slaughter, and 21 specimens were collected from cloacal samples from each flock. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on the samples enriched in buffered Listeria enrichment broth (BLEB), using specific primers. Furthermore, enriched samples in BLEB and/or BLEB treated with 5% KOH were subcultured on Palcam medium. Data about farm and flocks were collected using a structured questionnaire. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes was 7% (95% CI, 2–12%) and 1% using PCR and culture, respectively. Results showed that using antibiotics during rearing period was dramatically reduced the rate of isolation (odds ratio (OR)=0.07, p =0.03), whereas house capacity of more than 10,000 birds (OR=24.03, p =0.04) and number of houses (OR=2, p =0.02) significantly increased the prevalence. The correlation between poor management of large poultry flocks and increasing the risk of contamination was more likely due to the recontamination of cooked poultry/undercooking or cross-contamination of other ready-to-eat foods.
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