Submitted to: Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Commercial turkey and turkey products have been implicated as a source of Salmonella and Campylobacter infections in humans. To reduce contamination of this poultry product intervention will be necessary during production. This study shows the extent to which commercial turkeys are intestinally colonized with these two human enteropathogens. This information will allow on-farm intervention strategies to be better focused and hence reduce human exposure to these two important microorganisms.
Technical Abstract: Cecal droppings from four commercial turkey flocks (two flocks were Hens and two flocks were Toms) were analyzed for the presence of naturally occurring salmonellae (SAL) at ages 6, 10 and 15 weeks and naturally occurring Campylobacter spp. at ages 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks by collecting fresh cecal droppings. For the Toms, the SAL positive rate was 6/30 (20%), 10/30 (33%) and 12/30(40%0 at 6, 10 and 15 weeks), respectively. The SAL positive rate in Hens was 9/30 (30%), 3/30 (10%) and 4/30 (13%) at 6, 10 and 15 weeks, respectively. The SAL contamination rates in the turkey flocks appear to be somewhat different from what is observed in broiler production. With broilers, SAL contamination in cecal droppings typically peaks midway through grow out and then steadily declines to almost zero in the last few weeks prior to processing. For the Toms, the Campylobacter positive rate was 27/30 (87%), 23/30 (77%), 23/30 (77%) and 23/20 (77%) at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks, respectively. For the two flocks of Hens, the Campylobacter positive rate was 22/30 (73%), 19/30 (63%), 19/30 (63%) and 24/30 (80%), at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks, respectively. Like broilers, Campylobacter was maintained in cecal droppings at high percentage of samples through production.