Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Ensuring Food safety: problems of Camylobacter contamination of poultry and poultry meat in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.04.02  Biotechnical sciences  Veterinarian medicine  Animal pathology and epizootiology 

Code Science Field
B230  Biomedical sciences  Microbiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology 

Code Science Field
4.03  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Veterinary science 
campylobacter, zoonosis, food safety, poultry
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (33)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  32847  Mateja Ambrožič  Biotechnology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  35 
2.  33139  PhD Petra Bandelj  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  54 
3.  32325  Lidija Baša    Researcher  2011 - 2012  36 
4.  15199  PhD Majda Biasizzo  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  124 
5.  18332  PhD Neža Čadež  Biotechnology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  317 
6.  04576  PhD Martin Dobeic  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  255 
7.  11184  PhD Alenka Dovč  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  466 
8.  24624  Polonca Enci  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
9.  14429  PhD Roman Glaser  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  103 
10.  14880  PhD Igor Gruntar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  112 
11.  25841  PhD Urška Jamnikar Ciglenečki  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2013 - 2014  119 
12.  18888  PhD Andrej Kirbiš  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  212 
13.  22491  PhD Anja Klančnik  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2012  355 
14.  11132  PhD Branko Krt  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  227 
15.  24296  PhD Darja Kušar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  193 
16.  28508  PhD Ana Mavri  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2012  37 
17.  11879  PhD Jasna Mičunovič  Veterinarian medicine  Technical associate  2011 - 2014  87 
18.  30500  Verica Mioč  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  44 
19.  24630  MSc Vida Nahberger Marčič  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
20.  11133  PhD Matjaž Ocepek  Veterinarian medicine  Head  2011 - 2014  467 
21.  12681  PhD Bojan Pahor  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2014  164 
22.  12902  PhD Metka Paragi  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  167 
23.  24612  PhD Mateja Pate  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  277 
24.  16213  PhD Štefan Pintarič  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  260 
25.  04001  PhD Peter Raspor  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  1,890 
26.  07030  PhD Sonja Smole - Možina  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,092 
27.  14762  PhD Marija Trkov  Biotechnology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  106 
28.  12645  PhD Stanka Vadnjal  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  175 
29.  24641  Milena Valant-Majcen  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
30.  33679  PhD Annamaria Vujanović  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2014  82 
31.  33447  Urška Zajc  Veterinarian medicine  Technical associate  2011 - 2014  74 
32.  12682  PhD Irena Zdovc  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  462 
33.  08023  PhD Olga Zorman Rojs  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2011 - 2014  416 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0406  University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty  Ljubljana  1627139  10,133 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  65,856 
3.  2106  PERUTNINA PTUJ reja perutnine, proizvodnja krmil, perutninskega mesa in izdelkov, trgovina in storitve d.o.o. (Slovene)  Ptuj  5141966  57 
4.  3334  National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Foodstaffs  Maribor  6489087  4,576 
Developed European countries, including Slovenia, have successfully decreased the number of enteric human diseases in the past years, with the exception of campylobacteroses which prevalence is increasing. The causative agents of campylobacterioses are thermotoletrant enteric bacteria of genus Campylobacter, especially C. jejuni and C. coli. The prevalent source of infection is food, especially contaminated and undercooked poultry meat which represents the most important risk factor for infections in general. The consumption of poultry meat is high and is still rising. Birds are natural hosts for pathogenic campylobacters which are extremely difficult to destroy during animal breeding and meat production. Thus, the contamination of poultry meat with campylobacters and consequent infections in humans remain an unsolved public health problem in Slovenia and worldwide. The main objective of the proposed project is the analysis of the current state regarding campylobacters in poultry and poultry meat in Slovenia and determination of critical points in the food production chain in order to ensure safe food for the consumers. The following important stages within the food production chain will be investigated: a) infection rate of breeding flocks in order to investigate the possibility of vertical transmission of infection; b) the extent, time frame and modes of infection spreading in broiler flocks by detection of campylobaters in broilers and flock environment (water, insects, rodents, feed, wild birds); c) critical points of contamination and cross contamination at different points/stages of slaughter procedure which is the last and crucial production stage of poultry meat; d) the risk at retail and at final preparation of food where the knowledge and awareness of the consumer are crucial. The proposed project brings together experts of different fields and research teams in Slovenia – academia, institute, state control of safe food assurance and direct production - from farm to fork. This will enable the analysis of true state in practice and direct and fastest transmission of the project results into practice. Laboratory diagnostic work will include modern methods of microbiology and molecular biology used to detect and trace the contaminants; this is related to cooperation of the project partners in the current projects of the 6th and 7th EU frameworks. Experiences gained within these projects will provide the risk analysis related to the consumer and the dissemination of the results to the crucial links of the food production chain, including the consumers. This will be enabled by interdisciplinary methodological approaches which are also an assurance that the results of the proposed project will serve as the basis for preparation of the measures to reduce the presence of campylobacters in poultry meat in Slovenia. The results of the project will be directly applicable for cooperating industry partner and for Slovenian poultry industry as a whole which will have a positive effect from the viewpoint of competition on the international poultry market. Potential contribution to decreased number of human infections will reflect in better health of consumers and in reduction of costs related to campylobacteriosis.
Significance for science
Methodologically, one of the most essential differences of our research, in comparison to other similar studies regarding the concept/plan of sampling, is: for each of the slaughter series at the defined locations, namely, always the same 10 carcasses were sampled, which we found essential for the assessment of the dynamics of contamination and for the identification of the critical points. Due to a very careful planning of the sampling frequency (5-min interval between the two consecutive samplings of the carcasses), it is believed that in this way the collected samples allowed more realistic insight into the dynamics of contamination of broiler carcasses as if, like in all of the other similar studies, different carcasses or groups of carcasses were compared at the selected sampling points. To the best of our knowledge, this approach has never been used before. With the molecular-genetic characterization of specific genomic regions responsible for the antibiotic resistance (e.g. of the nucleotide polymorphism of the region QRDR in the gene gyrA) and by the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of the strains, the groups with high genetic relatedness were first identified at the local (Slovene) geographical area, which enabled the continuation of the research in the same direction and the confirmation of clonal spreading of the resistance of C. jejuni bacteria against ciprofloxacin also in the broader Central-European region. This is an important contribution to understanding the mechanisms of spreading and persistence of the bacterial resistance against antibiotics even when their usage is limited.
Significance for the country
Knowing the critical points for contamination of the chicken carcasses is a prerequisite for reducing the contamination of the food of poultry origin with campylobacters. Certainly, this will have a positive impact on the international competitiveness of our poultry production, which is one of the most important agricultural branches in Slovenia. In addition, this will also reduce the risk of infection with campylobacters for the final consumers and will increase the safety of the food of poultry origin, and thus indirectly influence the improvement of the health status with regard to the most common zoonosis in our country and in the EU. By reducing the contamination with campylobacters, the risk of transmission of the genes for resistance against different antibiotics to other bacteria would also be diminished. With the obtained data on the number and characteristics (genotypes, resistance) of campylobacters in the processing and retail network, a better planning of the measures for the protection of consumers can already be achieved today.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
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