In this study, the conventional International Organization for Standardization (ISO) culture method was compared with the DuPont Qualicon BAX system, a high-throughput, rapid molecular assay that can be used to detect several bacterial species, including Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in diverse sample types. Standard enrichment culture is a time-consuming process, taking up to 6 days to obtain a confirmed result. Rapid molecular assays have been developed that provide results within 24 h. Naturally contaminated samples from the poultry production chain were examined for the presence of Campylobacter spp. Samples from broiler chicken ceca (n = 100), fresh chicken carcass rinses (n = 60), and bootsocks (gauze sock walked through a broiler chicken house; n = 50) were enriched according to the ISO 10272 method in Bolton broth specifically designed to detect Campylobacter spp. in complex sample types. Samples were enriched without blood for use with the BAX system using the Campylobacter BAX kits for the detection of C. jejuni and C. coli. Samples also were directly plated onto modified charcoal cefperazone deoxycholate agar, and results were compared with those from the enriched samples for the ability to detect Campylobacter spp. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 49% of samples with conventional enrichment cultures, from 48% with direct culture, from 68% with the BAX system and enrichment cultures, and from 62% with the BAX system used directly with samples. Overall, the BAX system detected more positive samples than did the conventional culture method and is an effective methodology for the rapid and reliable detection of Campylobacter spp. from diverse sample types.

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