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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recovery of Campylobacter from Segments of the Reproductive Tract of Broiler Breeder Hens

Authors
item Buhr, Richard
item Cox, Nelson
item Stern, Norman
item Musgrove, Michael
item Wilson, J - UGA
item Hiett, Kelli

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 5, 2002
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Stern, N.J., Musgrove, M.T., Wilson, J.L., Hiett, K.L. 2002. Recovery of campylobacter from segments of the reproductive tract of broiler breeder hens. Avian Diseases. 46(4):919-924.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter is considered to be the most common causative bacterial agent of human sporadic diarrhea or food poisoning. Colonization in the intestinal tract of poultry with human-derived strains of Campylobacter has been demonstrated but the transmission of Campylobacter from the hen to the chick through the egg has not been directly demonstrated. To determine if Campylobacter colonizes the hen's reproductive tract three groups of broiler breeder hens that had been previously determined to be feces-positive for Campylobacter, were assessed for the presence of Campylobacter within segments of their reproductive tracts. In the first group, the reproductive tracts were aseptically excised and tract segments (infundibulum, magnum-isthmus, shell gland, vagina, and cloaca) were pooled by pen. In the second group, a total of 10 individual hens were sampled and the reproductive tract was divided into segments. For the third group, hens were obtained from two commercial farms and the reproductive tract was divided into segments. In Group 1, the pooled reproductive tract segments for the hens were Campylobacter-positive for the isthmus-magnum, shell gland, vagina, and cloaca. In the second group, 9/10 cloaca samples were Campylobacter-positive. Commercial hens had higher incidences of Campylobacter-positive cloacal samples 12/12, vagina 10/12, shell gland 7/12, isthmus 2/12, and magnum 4/12. Campylobacter colonization of the hen's reproductive tract could provide the mechanism for vertical transmission of Campylobacter from the hen through the egg to the chick.

Technical Abstract: Three groups of 60+ week old broiler breeder hens were assessed for the presence of Campylobacter within segments of their reproductive tracts. In the first group, after processing through defeathering, the reproductive tracts were aseptically excised from eighteen hens, six from each of three adjacent floor pens that had been determined to be feces-positive for Campylobacter. The reproductive tract segments (infundibulum, magnum-isthmus, shell gland, vagina, and cloaca) were pooled by pen. In the second group, a total of ten individual hens were sampled from the pens; the reproductive tract was divided into the following segments: magnum, isthmus, shell gland, vagina, and cloaca. For the third group, hens were obtained from two commercial farms that had been determined to be feces-positive for Campylobacter and the reproductive tract was divided into five segments. Segments of the reproductive tract were placed into sterile plastic bags and suspended 1:3 (w/v) in BoltonÂżs enrichment broth, and serial dilutions were plated (0.1 mL) onto Campy-Cefex agar. In Group 1, the pooled reproductive tract segments for hens from Pen A were Campylobacter-positive for the shell gland, vagina, and cloaca; hens from Pen B were positive for the cloaca only; and hens from Pen C were positive for the isthmus-magnum and cloaca. In the second group, nine of ten cloaca samples were Campylobacter-positive and only one hen was negative. Commercial hens had Campylobacter-positive cloacal samples 12/12, vagina 10/12, shell gland 7/12, isthmus 2/12, and magnum 4/12. Campylobacter colonization of the hen's reproductive tract could enable vertical transmission of Campylobacter from the hen to the chick.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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