Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 9, 2004
Publication Date: July 27, 2004
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Bailey, J.S., Wilson, J.L., Richardson, L.J., Cosby, D.E., Bourassa, D.V. 2004. Apparent absence of horizontal transmission of campylobacter among caged broiler breeder roosters. [abstract] Poultry Science. 83(suppl.1):103-104.
This study was undertaken to evaluate the potential for horizontal transmission of Campylobacter between adjacent caged broiler breeder roosters. Feces and semen from individually caged roosters at 41 wk of age were sampled for the presence of Campylobacter for 3 consecutive wk and determined to be negative. Three roosters were challenged with a marker strain of Campylobacter jejuni either orally using 1.0 mL of suspension (1.4 10^6 per mL). Three additional roosters were challenged by dropping 0.1 mL of suspension on the everted phallus immediately after semen collection. Six non-challenged roosters were placed in wire-floored cages interspersed between the challenged roosters. Roosters were meal fed daily in individual feed troughs and provided individual nipple drinkers per cage. Feces and semen samples were collected weekly from each rooster for a period of 5 wk post-challenge. The 6 non-challenged adjacently caged roosters were consistently negative for both feces and semen from 1 through 5 wk. At 6 wk roosters were necropsied and samples collected from the thymus, spleen, liver/gall bladder, and ceca, and all were negative for non-challenged roosters. Challenged roosters all produced Campylobacter positive feces and semen at 1 and 2 wk post-challenge. At 3 wk post challenge all fecal samples were positive for Campylobacter, but 2 semen samples were negative, one from each challenge route. At 4 wk post-challenge all semen samples were negative for Campylobacter, and only 3 fecal sample remained positive (2 for oral and 1 for phallus challenge routes). At 5 wk post challenge all semen and fecal samples were negative for Campylobacter. Necropsy samples from challenged roosters were negative for the thymus, spleen, and liver/gall bladder at 6 wk post-challenge. Two ceca samples were found to contain Campylobacter, one from each challenge route. These results indicated that Campylobacter is not readily transferred horizontally between adjacently caged roosters. At 6 wk the presence of Campylobacter in the ceca was undetected in 4 of the 6 challenged roosters.
Key Words: Campylobacter, broiler breeder roosters, horizontal transmission