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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of on-Farm Acidification Treatments on Campylobacter and Salmonella Populations in Commercial Broiler Houses in Northeast Georgia

Authors
item Line, John
item Bailey, Joseph

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 4, 2006
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Citation: Line, J.E., Bailey, J.S. Effect of on-farm acidification treatments on campylobacter and salmonella populations in commercial broiler houses in northeast georgia. Poultry Science. 85:1529-1534.

Interpretive Summary: The human pathogens, Salmonella and Campylobacter, are known to cause the majority of annual cases of food borne bacterial illness in the U.S. These pathogens are frequently associated with poultry. Two commercially available litter treatments, commonly applied for ammonia control in chicken houses, were evaluated to determine their ability to reduce populations of Campylobacter and Salmonella associated with commercial broilers during production. A total of 20 broiler houses at 10 different locations were studied; 5 aluminum sulfate treated houses, 5 sodium bisulfate treated houses and 10 paired untreated control houses. A single application rate was investigated for each treatment. Fecal samples were analyzed at week 2, 4, and 5/6 for Campylobacter and Salmonella. The results indicated that, at the application rates investigated, both acidifying litter treatments caused a slight delay in onset of Campylobacter colonization in broiler chicks, though the effect may not be microbiologically significant. Salmonella levels remained unaffected, with no significant effect seen with either treatment. This information will be useful to poultry producers and researchers in academia, industry and the government. Though effective pathogen control will most likely involve a combination of interventions, acidified treatment of litter may help delay the onset of Campylobacter colonization and perhaps minimize the spread of this pathogen throughout broiler flocks.

Technical Abstract: Two commercially available litter treatments, aluminum sulfate and sodium bisulfate, were tested to determine their effect on Campylobacter and Salmonella levels associated with commercial broilers during a 6 week grow-out period. A total of 20 broiler houses at 10 different locations were studied; 5 aluminum sulfate treated houses, 5 sodium bisulfate treated houses and 10 paired untreated control houses. A single application rate was investigated for each treatment. Fecal samples (n = 20 per house) were analyzed at week 2, 4, and 5/6 for Campylobacter and Salmonella. The results indicated that, at the application rates investigated, both acidifying litter treatments caused a slight delay in onset of Campylobacter colonization in broiler chicks, though the effect may not be microbiologically significant. Salmonella levels remained unaffected, with no significant effect seen with either treatment (p > 0.05). Campylobacter populations and Salmonella incidence associated with unprocessed, whole carcass rinse samples (n=10 per house) analyzed at the end of production (week 5/6) were unaffected by treatment. Though effective pathogen control will most likely involve a combination of interventions, acidified treatment of litter may delay the onset of Campylobacter colonization and perhaps minimize the spread of this pathogen throughout broiler flocks. Altering the treatment application rates could affect the results.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014