+49 30 838 62550
Background and objectives: Arcobacter species are considered emerging zoonotic pathogens which could provoke human gastroenteritis. However, information about the prevalence of Arcobacter in seafood products is still scarce. This study was aimed to investigate the prevalence of Arcobacter spp. in retail seafood like shellfish, shrimps and cephalopods in Germany, with further characterization of the isolates.
Materials and methods: Arcobacter spp. were recovered and isolated by cultural methods. By mPCR and rpoB sequencing Arcobacter was verified at genus and species level. All isolated strains were characterized by ERIC-PCR. Furthermore, the occurrence of 10 putative Arcobacter virulence genes were detected.
Results: Arcobacter spp. were isolated from 55 out of 318 seafood samples. Among all 62 isolates, 55% were A. butzleri, followed by 13% of both A. cryaerophilus and A. venerupis, 11% A. aquimarinus. A. skirrowii and A. thereius were only detected once, respectively. Three isolates could not be determined to species level. The ERIC-PCR results showed its capacity in Arcobacter spp. genotyping. The occurrence of virulence gene seemed to be higher in A. butzleri compared to the other species.
Conclusion: In this study, the prevalence of Arcobacter in retail seafood was 17%, coinciding with other studies. We suggest that A. butzleri possess the highest risk of human infection with Arcobacter due to its highest occurrence of putative virulence genes as well as highest prevalence among seafood.