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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Detection of Airborne Salmonella Enteritidis in the Environment of Experimentally Infected Laying Hens by An Electrostatic Sampling Device

Authors
item Gast, Richard
item Mitchell, Bailey
item Holt, Peter

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2003
Publication Date: April 5, 2004
Citation: Gast, R.K., Mitchell, B.W., Holt, P.S. 2004. Detection of airborne salmonella enteritidis in the environment of experimentally infected laying hens by an electrostatic sampling device. Avian Diseases. 48:148-154, 2004.

Interpretive Summary: Contamination of the edible contents of table eggs with Salmonella enteritidis is an internationally significant cause of human illness. Because infected hens can deposit S. enteritidis inside eggs before they are laid, identifying infected flocks is an important objective in efforts to reduce the transmission of this pathogen to consumers. Testing to detect the presence of S. enteritidis in the poultry house environment has been the most common approach for determining whether laying flocks are infected. Because dust and aerosols that circulate in the air can carry bacteria, testing air samples could offer an efficient and inexpensive alternative for detecting S. enteritidis in poultry house environments. In this study, an experimental electrostatic sampling device was evaluated for its ability to detect S. enteritidis in the air of a room that housed infected laying hens in individual cages. Air samples were collected onto agar plates with the electrostatic device, a commercially available impaction sampler, and by passive exposure to the settling of aerosols and dust. Air samples were positive for S. enteritidis throughout the 4 weeks following inoculation of the hens. The electrostatic device led to more frequent and more numerous recovery of S. enteritidis colonies on agar plates than was obtained by passive exposure and performed similarly to the much more expensive impaction sampler. When used to expose agar plates to air for a period of 3 hours, the electrostatic device was able to detect S. enteritidis at a 75% frequency over the 4 weeks of the study.

Technical Abstract:

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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