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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO ANTIBIOTICS FOR CONTROLLING BACTERIAL RESPIRATORY PATHOGENS IN POULTRY

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: Critical Evaluation of Bacteriophage to Prevent and Treat Colibacillosis in Poultry.

Authors
item Huff, William
item Huff, Geraldine
item Rath, Narayan
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Arkansas Academy of Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2009
Publication Date: April 10, 2010
Citation: Huff, W.E., Huff, G.R., Rath, N.C., Donoghue, A.M. 2010. Critical Evaluation of Bacteriophage to Prevent and Treat Colibacillosis in Poultry. Arkansas Academy of Science. 63:93-98.

Interpretive Summary: Bacteriophage are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. Bacteriophage do not infect animal and plant cells making them a potentially safe alternative to antibiotics. We have conducted research on the efficacy of bacteriophage to both prevent and treat respiratory diseases in poultry. Bacteriophage that kill the bacteria Escherichia coli were isolated from municipal waste water treatment plants and poultry processing plants. This E. coli isolate causes a severe respiratory and systemic disease in poultry. Two bacteriophage isolates were selected to use in studies designed to determine the efficacy of these bacteriophage to prevent and treat this poultry disease. This disease was induced by injecting 6 X 10**4 cfu of E. coli into the thoracic airsac when the birds were 1 week of age. Initial studies demonstrated that mortality was significantly reduced when the challenge culture was mixed with bacteriophage prior to challenging the birds. In subsequent studies, we have shown that an aerosol spray of bacteriophage given to the birds prior to this E. coli challenge can prevent the disease, and that an intramuscular injection of bacteriophage provides an effective treatment of this disease. We have demonstrated that bacteriophage can be used to both prevent and treat colibacillosis in poultry and may provide an effective alternative to antibiotic use in animal and human medicine.

Technical Abstract: Bacteriophage are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. Bacteriophage do not infect animal and plant cells making them a potentially safe alternative to antibiotics. We have conducted research on the efficacy of bacteriophage to both prevent and treat colibacillosis in poultry. Bacteriophage lytic to a non-motile, serotype O2 isolate of Escherichia coli were isolated from municipal waste water treatment plants and poultry processing plants. This E. coli isolate is pathogenic to poultry, causing a severe respiratory and systemic infection. Two bacteriophage isolates were selected to use in studies designed to determine the efficacy of these bacteriophage to prevent and treat severe colibacillosis in poultry. Colibacillosis was induced by injecting 6 X 10**4 cfu of E. coli into the thoracic airsac when the birds were 1 week of age. Initial studies demonstrated that mortality was significantly reduced when the challenge culture was mixed with bacteriophage prior to challenging the birds. In subsequent studies, we have shown that an aerosol spray of bacteriophage given to the birds prior to this E. coli challenge can prevent the disease, and that an intramuscular injection of bacteriophage provides an effective treatment of this disease. We have demonstrated that bacteriophage can be used to both prevent and treat colibacillosis in poultry and may provide an effective alternative to antibiotic use in animal and human medicine.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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