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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Natural Presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in the Spleen, Liver/gallbladder and Reproductive Tract of Commercial Leghorn Laying Hens

item Cox, Nelson
item Buhr, Richard
item Musgrove, Michael
item Richardson, Larry
item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2006
Publication Date: July 16, 2006
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Buhr, R.J., Musgrove, M.T., Richardson, L.J., Cray, P.J. 2006. Natural presence of campylobacter and salmonella in the spleen, liver/gallbladder and reproductive tract of commercial leghorn laying hens. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. 85(1):77.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter and Salmonella are known to cause acute bacterial gastroenteritis in humans and poultry products have been implicated as a significant source of these infections. The objective of this study was to determine whether Campylobacter and Salmonella could be isolated from the reproductive tissues, lymphoid organs, liver/gallbladder and ceca of commercial leghorn laying hens. Two flocks were sampled. Hens (n=15) were obtained at 58 and 104 wk of age from separate facilities. Hens were euthanized, de-feathered and necropsy aseptically performed. To minimize the possibility of cross-contamination between samples, the ovarian follicles, spleen, liver/gallbladder, upper (infundibulum, magnum, and isthmus) and lower (shell gland and vagina) reproductive tracts were aseptically removed prior to the ceca. Individual samples were placed in sterile bags, packed on ice and transported to the laboratory for evaluation. In this study naturally colonized Campylobacter spp. were found in 3/10 ovarian follicles, 1/15 spleens, 4/15 liver/gallbladders, 7/10 upper reproductive tracts, 7/10 lower reproductive tracts, and 12/15 ceca. Naturally colonized Salmonella were found in 1/10 ovarian follicles, 1/15 liver/gallbladders, and 1/15 ceca but was not recovered from the spleen, upper or lower reproductive tract. Campylobacter were present in 93% of the hens sampled and Salmonella were present in 13% of the hens sampled in this study. The results of this study clearly show that commercial table egg laying hens housed in cages on wire floors, without the presence of roosters were naturally colonized with Salmonella and Campylobacter in their internal organs, reproductive and intestinal tracts.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015