Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTERVENTIONS AND METHODOLOGIES TO REDUCE HUMAN FOOD-BORNE BACTERIAL PATHOGENS IN CHICKENS

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety Research

Title: Recovery of Campylobacter and Salmonella serovars from the spleen, liver and gallbladder, and ceca of six and eight week old commercial broilers

Authors
item Cox, Nelson
item Richardson, Larry
item Buhr, Richard
item Northcutt, Julie
item Bailey, Joseph
item Cray, Paula
item Hiett, Kelli

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2007
Publication Date: November 23, 2007
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Northcutt, J.K., Bailey, J.S., Cray, P.J., Hiett, K.L. 2007. Recovery of Campylobacter and Salmonella serovars from the spleen, liver and gallbladder, and ceca of six and eight week old commercial broilers. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 16(4):477-480.

Interpretive Summary: 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. Information is lacking about the incidence of these organism inside commercial broilers internal organs and tissues. In this study, it was found that these organisms can reside in different organs and lymphoid tissues of commercial broilers. The incidence of these organisms in the internal organs and tissues of commercial broilers could be significant; particularly if they persist in these organs and tissues as reservoirs until market age and play a role in carcass contamination.

Technical Abstract: Previous studies have demonstrated that when Campylobacter or Salmonella were either orally or intracloacally inoculated into day old broiler chicks, within 1hr these bacteria moved rapidly to the lymphoid organs. These bacteria were still present 1 wk after inoculation. Two different market age (6 and 8 wk old) broilers were obtained from two commercial poultry operations and brought to the laboratory for analysis. Necropsy was limited to the removal of the spleen, liver/gallbladder (L/GB) and ceca using aseptic techniques. To reduce the possibility of cross contamination between samples, the spleen and L/GB were aseptically removed prior to the ceca. Samples were individually bagged and standard laboratory procedures for Campylobacter and Salmonella were carried out for all samples. Fifty-two 6 wk old broilers were analyzed and Campylobacter were found in 19/52 L/GB, 19/52 spleens and 26/52 ceca. Salmonella were found in 5/52 L/GB, 8/52 spleen, and 4/52 ceca. Eighty 8 wk old broilers were analyzed and Campylobacter were found in 3/80 L/GB, 5/80 spleens and 19/80 ceca. Salmonella were found in 41/80 L/GB, 38/80 spleens, and 52/80 ceca. The internal organs of the younger birds were more heavily contaminated with Campylobacter while Salmonella was the predominant organism isolated in the older birds. All Campylobacter isolates were found to be C. jejuni. The predominant Salmonella serotype was S. Typhimurium, however seven other serotypes were found. Overall, Campylobacter jejuni was found in 22/132 L/GB, 24/132 spleen and 45/132 ceca, while Salmonella serovars were isolated from 46/132 L/GB, 46/132 spleen, and 56/132 ceca. There is no doubt that these bacteria are naturally present in these organs. The significance of these reservoirs in the internal organs of commercial broilers is yet to be determined but could play a role in the microbiology of the intestinal tract and hence the final food product.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014