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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ALTERNATIVE INTERVENTION AND CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR FOODBORNE PATHOGENS IN POULTRY AND POULTRY PRODUCTS

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: The efficacy of the natural plant extracts, thymol and carvacrol against campylobacter colonization in broiler chickens

Authors
item Arsi, K -
item Donoghue, Ann
item Venkitanarayanan, K -
item Kollanoor-Johny, A -
item Fanatico, A -
item Blore, P -
item Donoghue, Dan -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Safety
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in the world and consumption of poultry products are a major cause of human infections. The ability to reduce or eliminate Campylobacter colonization in chickens would greatly reduce the risk of human campylobacteriosis. Unfortunately, most treatments fail to produce consistent reductions in this enteric foodborne pathogen in poultry. The efficacy of natural plant extracts, such as thymol and carvacrol, have been tested against other pathogens such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella and Listeria in vitro. However, their ability to reduce Campylobacter in chickens has not been reported. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of different concentrations and combinations of thymol and carvacrol in feed to reduce Campylobacter in broilers. To evaluate in vivo efficacy, day old broiler chicks were fed selected doses of thymol or carvacrol or combinations of these compounds in feed throughout the study period. Birds were orally challenged with a five strain mixture of wild type of C. jejuni strains at day 3 and at day 10, cecal samples were collected for Campylobacter enumeration. Campylobacter counts were reduced for some of the treatments with thymol, carvacrol, or a combination of both thymol and carvacrol in this study. These results indicate that supplementation of these compounds in feed may control the colonization of Campylobacter in chickens but, additional research is required to develop treatment regimens providing consistent efficacy.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in the world and consumption of poultry products are a major cause of human infections. The ability to reduce or eliminate Campylobacter colonization in chickens would greatly reduce the risk of human campylobacteriosis. Unfortunately, most treatments fail to produce consistent reductions in this enteric foodborne pathogen in poultry. The efficacy of natural plant extracts, such as thymol and carvacrol, have been tested against other pathogens such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella and Listeria in vitro. However, their ability to reduce Campylobacter in chickens has not been reported. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of different concentrations and combinations of thymol and carvacrol in feed to reduce Campylobacter in broilers. To evaluate in vivo efficacy, day old broiler chicks (n=10 chicks/dose) were fed 0% (controls) or selected doses of thymol or carvacrol or combinations of these compounds in feed throughout the study period. Birds were orally challenged with a five strain mixture of wild type of C. jejuni strains at day 3 and at day 10, cecal samples were collected for Campylobacter enumeration. Four trials were conducted. Campylobacter counts were reduced for 0.25% thymol (Trial 1), 1% carvacrol or 2% thymol (Trial 2) treatments, or a combination of both thymol and carvacrol at 0.5% (Trial 3) in this study. These results indicate that supplementation of these compounds in feed may control the colonization of Campylobacter in chickens but, additional research is required to develop treatment regimens providing consistent efficacy.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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