Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Helicobacter pullorum (H. pullorum) are frequently reported
pathogens in humans and poultry, respectively. Nevertheless, the source of H. pylori is still unclear.
This study aimed to detect Helicobacter spp. in chicken carcasses and to assess the antibiogram and
the virulence genes of Helicobacter isolates. Three hundred chicken meat samples (100 each of
chicken breast, liver, and gizzard), besides 60 swab samples from chicken processing surfaces, were
collected from retail shops in Qalyubia Governorate, Egypt, and examined for the prevalence of H.
pylori and H. pullorum. The 16S rRNA of three H. pylori and two H. pullorum isolates were sequenced
to determine the genetic relationship between these two Helicobacter spp. Of the 300 chicken samples
tested, 16 (5.33%) and 14 (4.67%) were positive for H. pylori and H. pullorum, respectively. Multiplex
PCR revealed that the virulence genes vacuolating cytotoxin A (vacA)s1, cytotoxin-associated gene
A (cagA), and restriction endonuclease-replacing gene A (hrgA) were detected in 66.7%, 77.8%, and
100% of H. pylori strains tested, respectively. H. pylori showed the highest resistance for
clarithromycin, while H. pullorum exhibited the highest resistance towards erythromycin and
ciprofloxacin. The study concluded that the chicken meat and giblets are potential sources of the
virulent and antimicrobial-resistant strains of H. pylori of human origin.