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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF STRESS ON FOODBORNE PATHOGEN COLONIZATION IN TURKEYS

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: Pathogenicity of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A after oral and oculonasal challenges of day-old turkey poults

Authors
item Huff, Geraldine
item Huff, William
item Dutta, Vikrant - UNIV OF ARKANSAS
item Johnson, M - UNIV OF ARKANSAS
item Nannapaneni, R - MISS STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2008
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Citation: Huff, G.R., Huff, W.E., Dutta, V., Johnson, M.G., Nannapaneni, R. 2008. Pathogenicity of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A after oral and oculonasal challenges of day-old turkey poults. Avian Diseases. 52(3):444-450.

Interpretive Summary: Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental pathogen that has contaminated poultry ready to eat products resulting in large scale recalls. Research is needed to determine the source of product and processing plant contamination with L. monocytogenes. The purpose of this study is to compare the ability of this bacterium to cause disease when fed directly to the birds (oral route) with disease caused by placing it in the eye and nose (oculonasal route) and also to compare the level of disease under different housing conditions. Day-old turkey poults were challenged with the bacteria and were placed either in paper-lined battery brooder cages for one week or in floor pens on fresh pine shaving litter. On day 7 birds challenged in battery cages were transferred to floor pens. Birds were weighed on days 7 and 14 post-infection (PI) and all mortalities were necropsied. Liver, gallbladder, air sac, brain, and knee synovial tissue were cultured for L. monocytogenes using direct plating on Listeria selective agar. A sample of birds was bled, necropsied, and similarly cultured on day 7 PI. Challenge by the oculonasal route resulted in higher mortality and lower body weights as compared to both non-challenged controls and to those challenged by the oral route. Birds contained in battery brooder cages for 1 week after challenge had higher mortality and higher body weights as compared to floor pen reared birds. The challenge strain was isolated from the gall bladder, brain, and knee joint of a single mortality challenged by the oculonasal route. These results suggest that day old turkey poults may be more susceptible to an oculonasal challenge with L. monocytogenes than to an oral challenge and that containment in battery cages for the first week may have increased contact exposure to the challenge.

Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous environmental pathogen that has contaminated poultry ready to eat products resulting in large scale recalls. Research is needed to determine the source of product and processing plant contamination with L. monocytogenes. The purpose of this study is to compare the oral and oculonasal challenge routes of infection on pathogenicity of turkey poults with L. monocytogenes at day of age under different housing conditions. Day-old turkey poults were challenged with the Scott A strain of L. monocytogenes by either the oral or oculonasal routes. After challenge, the poults were placed either in paper-lined battery brooder cages for one week or in floor pens on fresh pine shaving litter. On day 7 birds challenged in battery cages were transferred to floor pens. Birds were weighed on days 7 and 14 post-infection (PI) and all mortalities were necropsied. Liver, gallbladder, air sac, brain, and knee synovial tissue were cultured for L. monocytogenes using direct plating on Listeria selective agar. A sample of birds was bled, necropsied, and similarly cultured on day 7 PI. Challenge by the oculonasal route resulted in higher mortality and lower body weights as compared to both non-challenged controls and to those challenged by the oral route. Birds contained in battery brooder cages for 1 week after challenge had higher mortality and higher body weights as compared to floor pen reared birds. The challenge strain was isolated from the gall bladder, brain, and knee joint of a single mortality challenged by the oculonasal route. These results suggest that day old turkey poults may be more susceptible to an oculonasal challenge with L. monocytogenes than to an oral challenge and that containment in battery cages for the first week may have increased contact exposure to the challenge.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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