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Arcobacter spp. in retail foodstuffs in Ireland: optimising isolation procedures and an investigatio

Project Reference: 04-PG-17

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: October, 2004

Project Duration: 36 months


Arcobacter species have been historically associated with veterinary diseases, notably abortion and or other reproductive disorders. More recently however, A. butzleri and A. cryaerophilus have been recognised as human foodborne pathogens, most commonly associated with gastroenteritis, but also with cases of septicaemia. The lack of standardised detection techniques and the fact that Arcobacter isolation is not a routine hospital laboratory procedure has hindered accurate assessment of association of Arcobacter with human illness.

This project optimised the isolation procedures for Arcobacter spp. The latest genotyping methods were applied and the genotype distribution was assessed. These procedures were used to examine the contamination of Irish foodstuffs.

Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Robert Madden, Queen’s University Belfast


Single supplier



The PhD thesis is available on request and can be accessed through Queen’s University Belfast

Peer Reviews:

Hamill, S., Neill, S.D. and Madden, R.H. (2008). “A comparison of media for the isolation of Arcobacter spp. from retail packs of beef”. Journal of Food Protection, 71(4):850-854.

Hamill, S., Neill, S.D. and Madden, R.H. (2008). “Use of Hugh and Leifson's medium as a simple screening test to aid in the differentiation of Arcobacter spp. from background flora during their isolation from foodstuffs”. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 47:187-191.

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