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Detection of Campylobacter species in water (W8)

AbstractThe method described is applicable to the detection of thermotolerant Campylobacter species in all types of water.

Water is potentially an important reservoir of campylobacters and is an established vehicle for the transmission of these organisms to man and domestic animals. Waterborne outbreaks of Campylobacter enteritis have been reported from various countries. Potable water supplies can become contaminated with campylobacters, but natural waters including rivers and coastal waters may be used for recreational purposes and may present potential risks. As campylobacters are a major cause of gastroenteritis it may occasionally be necessary to examine samples of water as part of epidemiological investigations or as part of local authority surveillance programmes.

This method is based on that described in the Microbiology of Drinking Water 2002 and ISO/DIS 17995 – Water Quality – Detection and enumeration of thermotolerant Campylobacter species. Enrichment procedures using Bolton broth and Preston broth are included because studies within the HPA London Food Water and Environmental Laboratory have shown that Bolton broth permits the detection of Campylobacter species from clean waters but the more selective Preston broth is better for detection from dirty waters.

Information note 1: The selective supplements used in these media have been modified by some commercial suppliers by replacing cycloheximide with amphotericin and renaming them as ‘Modified’. However the enrichment broths in principle are unchanged and the initial nomenclature of “Bolton broth” and “Preston broth“ has been retained in this SOP. The terminology “Modified Preston broth” is also used for Preston broth with the addition of cefoperazone which is also known as Exeter broth. The formulation of Exeter broth with cefoperazone has not been used in this method.

Information note 2: This method can be used to obtain a semi-quantitative result by using multiple volumes. ISO 8199:2005 recommends the use of five or more parallel tubes (100mL volumes).
Date of publishing10/24/2007
Date of last review by us01/06/2011
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