Occurrences of thermophilic Campylobacter in cattle slaughtered at Morogoro municipal abattoir, Tanzania

  • Hezron E NongaEmail author
  • P. Sells
  • E. D. Karimuribo


An investigation was conducted in Morogoro municipality to assess the likelihood of slaughter cattle posing public health risk of contaminating carcasses with thermophilic Campylobacter. Butchers and meat shopkeepers were interviewed on source of slaughter cattle, method of animal and carcass transportation, carcass dressing, meat storage facilities, access to clean water and availability of food hygiene practices. Faecal samples were collected from 107 slaughter cattle and after slaughter; four different parts of dressed carcasses (i.e. from ham, neck, pelvis and thigh muscles) were also sampled. In addition 107 cattle meat samples for Campylobacter culture were collected in different meat shops. The samples were subjected to standard bacteriological examination using Skirrows protocol. It was found that cattle slaughter, dressing and meat handling in meatshops was done under unhygienic condition. Thermophilic Campylobacter prevalence in slaughter cattle was 5.6% while contamination rate of dressed carcasses and cattle meat at shops was 9.3% and 1.9%, respectively. The majority of thermophilic Campylobacter isolated were C. jejuni (88.9%) while C. coli was isolated at 11.1%. Findings of this study suggest possibility of humans acquiring zoonotic Campylobacter infections from cattle meat particularly when meat preparation and processing is not done properly. More work is required to establish the magnitude of zoonotic enteric Campylobacteriosis in humans and epidemiological role of cattle and other animals in the study area.


Thermophilic Campylobacter Cattle meat Contamination Morogoro 



The authors wish to acknowledge co-operation received from Dr. D. Ndossi, butchers and cattle meat shopkeepers within Morogoro municipality. This study was a result of summer project support from DEFRA, BVA Overseas Travel Grant and the Royal Veterinary College to Mr. P. Sells.


  1. Aquino, M. H., Pacheco, A. P., Ferreira, M. C. and Tibana, A., 2002. Frequency of isolation and identification of thermophilic Campylobacter from animals in Brazil. Veterinary Journal, 164, 159–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beach, J. C., Murano, E. A. and Acuff, G. R., 2002. Prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in beef cattle from transport to slaughter. Journal of Food Protection, 65, 1687– 1693.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Chuma, I.S., 2009. Prevalence, risk factors and genetic relatedness among thermophilic Campylobacter from humans and chickens using RAPD-PCR in Morogoro, Tanzania. A thesis submitted for the award of a Master of Veterinary Medicine at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania. 112pp.Google Scholar
  4. Gannon, V.P.J., 1999. Control of Escherichia coli O157 at slaughter. In Escherichia coli O157 in Farm Animals. eds Stewart, C.S. & Flint, H.J., pp 169–193. Wallingford: CAB International.Google Scholar
  5. Grau, F.H., 1988. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter hyointestinalis in the intestinal tract and on the carcasses of calves and cattle. Journal of Food Protection, 51, 857–861.Google Scholar
  6. Hakkinen, M., Heiska, H, and Marja-Liisa, H., 2007. Prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in Cattle in Finland and Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Bovine Campylobacter jejuni Strains. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73, 3232–3238.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Heymann, D.L., 2004. Campylobacter enteritis. In: Control of communicable disease manual. 18th Edition. American Public Health Association, Washington. pp 81–84.Google Scholar
  8. Hoar, B.R., Atwill, E.R., Elmi, C. and Farver, T.B., 2001. An examination of risk factors associated with beef cattle shedding pathogens of potential zoonotic concern. Epidemiology and Infection, 127, 147–155.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Kassa, T., Gebre-selassie, S. and Asrat, D., 2005. The prevalence of thermotolerant Campylobacter species in food animals in Jimma Zone, southwest Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 19(3), 225–229.Google Scholar
  10. Kusiluka, L.J.M.; Karimuribo, E.D., Mdegela, R.H., Luoga, E.J., Munishi, P.K.T., Mlozi, M.R.S. and Kambarage, D.M., 2005. Prevalence and impact of water-borne zoonotic pathogens in water, cattle and humans in selected villages in Dodoma Rural and Bagamoyo districts, Tanzania. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 30, 818–825.Google Scholar
  11. Mdegela, R. H., Nonga, H. E, Ngowi, H. A. and Kazwala, R. R., 2006. Prevalence of thermophilic Campylobacter infections in humans, chickens and crows in Morogoro, Tanzania. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series B, 53, 116–121.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Muhairwa., A. P., Msoffe, P. L., Ramadhani, S., Mollel, E. L., Mtambo, M. M. A. and Kassuku, A. A., 2007. Prevalence of gastro-intestinal helminths in free-range ducks in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 19, Article #48. Retrieved April 28, 2008, from
  13. NCCLS., 2002. Perfomance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Diffusion and Dilution Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria Isolated from Animals. National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS), Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  14. Nielsen, E.M., 2002. Occurrence and strain diversity of thermophilic Campylobacter in cattle of different age groups in dairy herds. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 35, 85–89.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. On, S.L.W., 1996. Identification Methods for Compylobacters, Helicobacters and related organisms. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 9, 405–422.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ono, K., and Yamamoto, K., 1999. Contamination of meat with Campylobacter jejuni in Saitama. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 47, 211–219.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Oporto, B. Esteban, J. I., Aduriz, G., Juste r, A. and Hurtado, A., 2007. Prevalence and strain diversity of thermophilic campylobacters in cattle, sheep and swine farms. Journal of applied microbiology, 103, 977–984CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Osano, O. and Arimi, S., 1999. Retail poultry and beef as source of Campylobacter jejuni. East African Medical Journal, 76, 141–143.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Padungton, P. and Kaneene, J.B., 2003. Campylobacter spp. In human, chickens, pigs and their antimicrobial resistance. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series B, 65, 161-170.Google Scholar
  20. Rao, M.R., Abdollah B. Naficy, A.B., Savarino, S.J., Abu-Elyazeed, R., Wierzba,T.F., Peruski, L.F., Abdel-Messih, I., Frenck, R. and Clemens, J.D., 2002. Pathogenicity and convalescent excretion of Campylobacter in rural Egyptian children. American Journal of Epidemiology, 154, 166–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Skirrow, M.B. and Benjamin, J., 1980. Differentiation of enteropathogenic Campylobacter. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 33, 1122.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Stanley, K. and Jones, K., 2003. Cattle and sheep farms as reservoirs of Campylobacter. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 94, 104S–113S.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Stanley, K.N., Cunningham, R.C. and Jones, K., 1998. The isolation of Campylobacter jejuni from groundwater. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 85, 189–196.Google Scholar
  24. United Republic of Tanzania National Census, 2002.
  25. Valnegri, L., Franzoni, M., Colombo, F. and Soncini, G., 2008. Isolation and identification of thermophilic Campylobacter spp. in cattle carcasses from a northern Italian slaughterhouse. Italian Journal of Food Science, 20, 433–438Google Scholar
  26. Wesley, I. V., Wells, S. J., Harmon, K., Green, M.A., Schroeder-tucker, l., Glover, M. and Siddique, I. 2000. Fecal Shedding of Campylobacter and Arcobacter spp. in Dairy Cattle. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 66 (5), 1994–2000CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Medicine and Public HealthSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal HusbandryUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations