The agriculture sector plays an important role in a country’s economy. Livestock is a subsector of Pakistan agriculture. It pays 56% of value addition in agriculture and about 11% to the total gross domestic production.

By Nemra Mahtab

Poultry meat production has contributed to the rise gradually in the last few decades. Chicken meat contributes about 86% of all poultry meats globally. The international meat trade continued to grow in the period 2010-2020, with beef, pork, and poultry meat, although progressively in the case of beef and pork, with an increase of 2% and 3% respectively. Poultry meat imports rose by 12% in the same time. The poultry industry has met numerous challenges in the last few decades, including outbreaks of Campylobacteriosis in Asia that ranges throughout 2005 to early 2020. Campylobacteriosis is considered as the most common disease which is associated with poultry. Campylobacteris the causative agent of campylobacteriosis and is said to be a leading foodborne zoonosis that is frequently associated with handling and utilization of poultry meat.

Figure 1: Safe and healthy chicken is the main factor in your pretentious diet. Let your food be your medicine.

Reservoirs of Campylobacter:

Poor practices to handle the poultry campylobacteriosis constitute a serious health burden in developed and industrialized nations. However, it is now accepted that poultry is a natural host for Campylobacter spp. and the primary vector for transmitting this organism to humans are the colonized broiler chicks. In broilers flock the colonization rates are age-dependent. But if colonization occurs in a broiler flock, transmission is extremely rapid. Once colonization occurs, within 72 hours, 100% of flock becomes colonized. Such flocks then need to be slaughtered. After slaughtering, it eventually contaminates the cadaver during processing because infected birds which now slaughtered contains a very high load of C. jejuni and C.coliin their gastrointestinal tract. There is no effective strategy present that we can use to overcome the Campylobacter prevalence in the poultry flocks. This is just because of this ignorance that the cases of human Campylobacteriosis associated with poultry rest remarkably high.

The burden of disease and foodborne zoonosis:

A number of techniques are being used to approximation the true incidence of Campylobacteriosis but still, it is poorly identified.The main source of this infection in humans is supposed to be the utilization of the contaminated meat, especially poultry meat. Other risk factors also include deployment of contaminated water, dealings with pets and livestock, and traveling in high prevalence areas. The main cross-contamination of Campylobacter is by food chain. So, its control in food chain is become a key target of agencies that are accountable for food safety and security worldwide.The irritable bowel syndrome, the Guillan-Barre syndrome, and reactive arthritis are the major sequelae of Campylobacteriosis. The Miller Fisher syndrome is also recognized as a main Campylobacer infection. There is also an increase in the evidences that gastrointestinal disorders are not all the time connected to the Campylobacter gastroenteritis. These consequences participate in a significant disease burden of Campylobacteriosis.

Drugs of choice and their AMR pattern:

Pakistan is a heavily populated region; there is a great demand for broiler meat and eggs to meet the need for protein. Unavoidably, in this country poultry industry not only increasing day by day but also adopting rigorous farming methods with the adaptation of frequent use of antimicrobials to maintain high production. As the disease is self-limited but there are also evidences that deaths are also reported with this disease. Some evidences also suggests that this is because of theinfections with resistant strains of Cmpylobacter, increases the risk of death. It is also very essential to inspect the mortality in different populations, to investigate the causes of excess mortality, and to take these verdicts into account in the burden of disease estimates.This foodborne illness can be managed by heat or properly cooked meat or other suspected food items. But if get diseased, it may not require antibiotic treatment for all patients as it is a self-limiting disease. On the other hand, immune-compromised patients, infants, and the elderly, as there is a high incidence of Campylobacteriosis and some of the other difficulties, such situations need to be treated therapeutically. For this purpose drugs of choice are fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, norfloxacin), tetracycline, aminoglycosides, and macrolides. However, this bacterium becomes resistant against a majority of drugs used for its control. Because in poultry, these drugs are used to add in the poultry feed as an additive. This emergence of antibiotic resistance is considered a serious problem for public health.


It is widely accepted that contamination of poultry by Campylobacter is a significant risk factor of human campylobacteriosis. Thus, its prevention and control in poultry would reduce the risk of human exposure to Campylobacter and is an important food safety issue. The development of antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter is an evolving public health challenge. However, there is no effective, reliable, and practical intervention measure available to reduce Campylobacter in poultry. So the better understanding of the molecular basis of resistance is urgently needed if it is to be successfully overcome.

Figure 3: If we are not careful, we will soon be in a post antibiotic era. Overuse of antimicrobials in broiler production in Pakistan, calling for urgent actions.

A wider study on the antimicrobial pattern of the Campylobacter isolates from free range chickens is warranted. Infection of humans with Campylobactercontaminated meat and meat products must be well documented. Poultry is the major reservoir of thermophilic Campylobacters. If the slaughter, handling and packing of meat from commercial poultry are done at modern slaughter facilities,found effective in reducing the meat contamination of poultry meat.

Authors : Nemra Mahtab1*, Syed Ehtisham-ul-Haque1, Usman Waheed1,Muhammad Adnan Saeed , Farhan Ahmad Atif1 1*Department of Pathobiology, University of veterinary and animal sciences, Lahore, Pakistan (sub campus Jhnag) *Correspondence: nemramahtab@gmail.com Contact # +92 305 4981806