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One of the most promising genotyping methods for microorganisms is the AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism)-analysis, originally developed to genotype plants. The AFLP method has a high discriminatory power and an excellent reproducibility. Thus it is suitable for solving taxonomic and epidemiological questions. AFLP analysis was used to reveal the genetic diversity of Campylobacter (C.) jejuni strains from turkeys. The aim was to detect and genotype C. jejuni strains on individual turkeys throughout the complete slaughter process. A broad spectrum of genotypes was detectable on the turkey skin at the beginning of the slaughter line. At the end of the slaughter process-after chilling, only a diminished spectrum of genotypes was detectable by AFLP-analysis, suggesting, that slaughter specific environmental stressors may exert a selective pressure on the strain diversity. Our results proved, that AFLP analysis is an excellent tool for subtyping large numbers of Campylobacter strains.