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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Attempts to Isolate Naturally Occurring Campylobacter, Salmonella and Clostridium Perfringens from the Ductus Deferens, Testes and Ceca of Commercial Broiler Breeder Roosters

item Cox, Nelson
item Hofacre, C - UGA AVIAN MED
item Buhr, Richard
item Wilson, J - UGA POUL SCI
item Bailey, Joseph
item Richardson, Larry
item Cosby, Douglas
item Musgrove, Michael
item Hiett, Kelli
item Russell, S - UGA POUL SCI

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 3, 2004
Publication Date: March 1, 2005
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Hofacre, C.L., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Bailey, J.S., Richardson, L.J., Cosby, D.E., Musgrove, M.T., Hiett, K.L., Russell, S.M. 2005. Attempts to isolate naturally occurring campylobacter, salmonella and clostridium perfringens from the ductus deferens, testes and ceca of commercial broiler breeder roosters. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 14(1):126-129.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter, Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens are important foodborne pathogen closely associated with poultry. These bacteria have been found to be present in the semen of roosters and can contaminate the breeder hen, the fertile egg and the newly hatched chicks. In this study, we determined that semen contaminated by these bacteria were the result of sources (ceca/fecal contamination) external to the testes and ductus deferens and not deep within the rooster's reproductive tract. In order to intervene, sources must be accurately identified.

Technical Abstract: Recent studies have shown a significant presence of Campylobacter in the semen of mid-life and late-life roosters. The present study was done to determine if several foodborne pathogens (Campylobacter, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens) could be isolated from the ductus deferens, testes and ceca of 45-65 week old commercial broiler breeder roosters. Five roosters from each of three separate commercial breeder farms were transported to the laboratory. Limited necropsy was performed to remove the ductus deferens, testes and ceca without contamination from blood and other tissues. All samples were analyzed for each of the three previously mentioned bacteria and for total aerobic bacteria, and Enterobacteriaceae. None of the three foodborne pathogens were isolated from the testes of any of the 15 commercial roosters. Clostridium perfringens was isolated from one of the 15 ductus deferens, while no Campylobacter or Salmonella were isolated from this tissue. Campylobacter was cultured from the ceca of all 15 roosters, Clostridium perfringens from 4/15, and Salmonella from 2/15. A quarter of all commercial broiler breeder's semen samples were found to be contaminated with Campylobacter in a previous study, however this organism along with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens were not found in intra-abdominal tissues. Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium were occasionally cultured from the ductus deferens. The data suggest that the contamination of semen by these foodborne pathogens is a result of sources (cecal/fecal contamination) external to the testes and ductus deferens.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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