Submitted to: Poultry Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter (Campy) is the leading cause of bacterial induced diarrheal disease and the major vehicle for transmitting Campy to humans is poultry. Recent research has shown that Campy passes from breeder hen to progeny through the fertile egg. Since this is now considered to be a significant source of entry into the broiler flocks, the goal of this study was to compare prevalence and level of Campy in the broth the breeders and broilers. Fresh fecal droppings (50) were collected from each flock and brought immediately back to the laboratory for analysis. Parent breeder flocks (14), ranging in age from 46 to 62 weeks of age, were sampled and 200/350 (57.1%) of the droppings were Campy positive. Broiler flocks (35), 4-8 weeks of age, were sampled and 542/874 (62%) of the droppings were Campy positive. Broiler flock Campy prevalence and levels in droppings were higher than those for Breeder flocks. When a breeder flock and its progeny were sampled for prevalence and level, 90/100 (90%) of the breeder droppings were Campy positive with an average level of 3.9 log cfu Campy/gram of dropping. For the progeny, 112/150 (74.7%) were Campy positive with an average level of 5.1 log cfu Campy/gram of dropping. Now that transmission of Campy from breeder to progeny through the egg has been demonstrated additional studies are needed to assess extent of contamination, what causes transmission to occur, and how best to intervene.