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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MICROBIAL INTERACTIONS AND INTERVENTIONS TO REDUCE TRANSMISSION OF FOODBORNE PATHOGENS THROUGH POULTRY

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Caprylic acid reduces enteric Campylobacter colonization in market-aged broiler chickens but does not appear to alter cecal microbial populations

Authors
item Santos, Fausto -
item Hume, Michael
item Venkitanarayanan, Kumar -
item Donoghue, Ann
item Hanning, Irene -
item Slavik, Michael -
item Aguiar, Vivian -
item Metcalf, Joel -
item Reyes-Herrera, Ixchel -
item Blore, Pamela -
item Donoghue, Dan -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2009
Publication Date: February 15, 2010
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57545
Citation: Santos, F., Hume, M.E., Venkitanarayanan, K., Donoghue, A.M., Hanning, I., Slavik, M.F., Aguiar, V.F., Metcalf, J., Reyes-Herrera, I., Blore, P.J., Donoghue, D.J. 2010. Caprylic acid reduces enteric Campylobacter colonization in market-aged broiler chickens but does not appear to alter cecal microbial populations. Journal of Food Protection. 73:251-257.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter is one of the leading causes of food-borne illness in the United States, and epidemiological evidence indicates poultry and poultry products to be a significant source of human Campylobacter infections. Caprylic acid, an 8-carbon medium chain fatty acid, reduces Campylobacter colonization in chickens. How caprylic acid reduces Campylobacter carriage may be related to changes in intestinal bacteria. To evaluate this possibility, bacterial populations were examined using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in chickens fed caprylic acid. DGGE profiles of the bacteria showed very limited differences in intestinal bacterial populations in chickens fed caprylic acid and those not fed the acid. The results of this study indicate that caprylic acid's ability to reduce Campylobacter does not appear to be due to changes in intestinal bacteria.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter is one of the leading causes of food-borne illness in the United States, and epidemiological evidence indicates poultry and poultry products to be a significant source of human Campylobacter infections. Caprylic acid, an 8-carbon medium chain fatty acid, can reduce Campylobacter colonization in chickens. How caprylic acid reduces Campylobacter carriage may be related to changes in intestinal microflora. To evaluate this possibility, cecal microbial populations were evaluated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in market age broiler chickens fed caprylic acid. In the first trial, day of hatch chicks (n=40 per trial) were assigned to four treatment groups (n=10 birds per treatment group): positive controls (Campylobacter, no caprylic acid), 0.7% caprylic acid supplemented in feed for the last 3 days of the trial, or treatments with a 12 h feed withdrawal before slaughter. Treatments were similar for Trial 2, except caprylic acid was supplemented for the last 7 days of the trial. On day 14 of age, chicks were orally challenged with C. jejuni, and on day 42, ceca were collected for DGGE and Campylobacter analysis. Caprylic acid supplemented for 3 or 7 days at 0.7% reduced Campylobacter compared to the positive controls, except for the 7-day treatment with a 12 h feed withdrawal period. DGGE profiles of the cecal content showed very limited differences in microbial populations. The results of this study indicate that caprylic acid's ability to reduce Campylobacter does not appear to be due to changes in cecal microflora.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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