As no data are available on the prevalence of cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) genes carried by Campylobacter spp. in laying hens, this study was conducted with the aim to evaluate the prevalence of both Campylobacter spp. and cdt genes in 1680 laying hens from four different farms. The samples were analyzed by culture methods and by polymerase chain reaction. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 1097/1680 cloacal swabs. Among the isolates, 913 were identified as Campylobacter jejuni whereas 345 were identified as Campylobacter coli. All isolates carried cdt genes. The results presented here confirm the very common occurrence of C. jejuni and C. coli in laying hens and underline that the cdt genes may also be frequently present in both C. jejuni and C. coli isolates from laying hens.
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Vol. 55 • No. 1