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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Salmonella enterica serotype enteritidis in table egg layer house environments and in mice in U.S. layer houses and associated risk factors

Authors
item Garber, Lindsey - USDA-APHIS-VS
item Smeltzer, Martin - USDA-APHIS-VS
item Cray, Paula
item Ladely, Scott
item Ferris, Kathleen - USDA-APHIS-NVSL

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 3, 2003
Publication Date: March 10, 2003
Citation: Garber, L., Smeltzer, M., Cray, P.J., Ladely, S.R., Ferris, K. 2003. Salmonella enterica serotype enteritidis in table egg layer house environments and in mice in U.S. layer houses and associated risk factors. Avian Diseases. 47(1):134-142.

Interpretive Summary: Salmonella is a zoonotic pathogen which can be transferred from animals to humans, most often through consumption of contaminated food, including eggs. Infection with Salmonella enteritidis (SE) from consumption of contaminated eggs can cause mild to severe gastroenteritis in humans. The prevalence of SE in layer house environments (n=200 layer houses) and house mice (n=129 layer houses) in 15 states throughout the Unites States was determined. Environmental swabs were collected from manure, egg belts, elevators, and walkways and live-catch rodent traps were placed for 4-7 days. Swabs and house mice were submitted to the laboratory for bacterial culture. Overall, 7.1% of layer houses and 3.7% of mice were culture positive for SE. The highest prevalence was in the Great Lakes region of the United States and no SE was recovered from houses or mice in the southeast region. Presence of SE in layer houses was associated with several risk factors including age/molting, floor reared pullets, and number of rodents trapped. Cleaning and disinfecting houses between flocks was associated with a reduced risk of SE. The prevalence of SE in mice from environmentally positive houses was nearly four times that of mice from environmentally negative houses. These data clearly demonstrate the importance of cleaning and disinfection in the egg industry and emphasize the need for rodent control. These data are necessary to for scientists, commodity groups, government regulators, and animal industry personnel as they study ways to control Salmonella as a means to reduce the incidence of human salmonellosis.

Technical Abstract: Prevalence was estimated for Salmonella enterica serotype enteritidis (SE) in layer house environments (n=200 layer houses) and house mice (n=129 layer houses) in 15 states throughout the Unites States. Environmental swabs were collected from manure, egg belts, elevators, and walkways. Live-catch rodent traps were placed for 4-7 days. Swabs and house mice were submitted to the laboratory for bacterial culture. Overall, 7.1% of layer houses and 3.7% of mice were culture positive for SE. The highest prevalence was in the Great Lakes region of the United States, and no SE was recovered from houses or mice in the southeast region. Presence of SE in layer houses was associated with age/molting, floor reared pullets, and number of rodents trapped. Cleaning and disinfecting houses between flocks was associated with a reduced risk. The prevalence of SE in mice from environmentally positive houses was nearly four times that of mice from environmentally negative houses.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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