Campylobacter is one of the most common bacterial enteropathogens of food borne origin in industrialized countries with C. jejuni being the most common species followed by C. coli. The prevalence of Campylobacters in and around Chandigarh, India was studied by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Fecal samples from 1145 diarrheal patients and 102 healthy subjects from hospital and community were cultured on Campylobacter media and identified by Gram stain, biochemical investigations and serotyping. Molecular identification of Campylobacter isolates was done using specific primers to unique regions of 16S rRNA, Campylobacter jejuni (hipO), Campylobacter coli (aspK), Campylobacter lari (glyA) and Campylobacter upsaliensis (lpxA) genes. Identification of specific genes to look for resistance to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, tetracyclin and streptomycin was also done. Campylobacters were isolated from 2.6% of patients with diarrhea. Campylobacteriosis was more prevalent in children ≤5 years old and during summer season. The most frequent serotypes were S:27, B:2, Z5:52 and V:32. All the Campylobacters isolated by culture were confirmed genotypically by identification of 16S rRNA, hipO and aspK genes. Of the 30 isolates, 27 were C. jejuni and 3 were C. coli. No C. lari or C. upsaliensis were detected. Antibiotic resistance was 40% for nalidixic acid, 23.3% for ciprofloxacin, 50% for tetracyclin and 20% for streptomycin. Campylobacter prevalence is low in the region with C. jejuni being the most common species. A high degree of resistance was found for nalidixic acid and tetracyclin but moderate for ciprofloxacin and streptomycin.
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