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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research » Research » Research Project #421599

Research Project: Pre-Harvest Interventions For Application During Poultry Production To Reduce Food-Borne Bacterial Pathogens

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research

Project Number: 6040-32000-060-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 1, 2011
End Date: Apr 25, 2016

1. Develop and evaluate current and novel strategies to reduce food-borne pathogens in the poultry production environment. 1.a. Generate and apply chicken egg-yolk antibodies to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter populations in broiler chickens. 1.b. Enhance the mucus-binding ability of Lactobacillus reuteri and L. salivarius cultures by growing them in mucin-containing media and compare the ability of enhanced and original cultures to reduce colonization of Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates in vivo. 1.c. Investigate the effects of Bacillus subtilis and Lactobacillus reuteri delivered in feed for reduction of Salmonella and Campylobacter colonization in the broiler chicken’s gastrointestinal system. 2. Develop and evaluate potential alternatives to antimicrobials and other interventions in the control of food-borne pathogens (specifically bacteriophage and bacteriophage lytic enzymes, bacteriocins). 2.a. Identify and clone bacteriophage and prophage lytic enzymes using genomics analyses. 2.b. Express lytic enzymes, bacteriocins and holins in yeast. 2.c. Identify and clone bacteriophage lytic enzymes followed by expression in yeast as a feed additive for swine to reduce bacterial pathogens during production.

Novel alternatives to traditional antibiotics are urgently needed for food-animal production. The approaches of this project are to 1) evaluate novel biocontrol strategies to reduce bacterial pathogen GI tract colonization of chickens, and 2) identify and characterize the biophysical properties of anti-bacterial peptides and lytic enzymes. Our approach includes application of specific egg-derived immunoglobulin, enhancing probiotic lactobacilli and determining synergism of probiotic treatments. This will be accompanied by isolation and assay of enzymes capable of lysing food-borne pathogens. The lytic enzymes and previously described bacteriocins will also be cloned for enhanced expression in yeast which can be readily incorporated into chicken feed. In vitro bacterial growth inhibition and in vivo chicken trials will be used to determine practical intervention approaches applicable to the poultry industry. By providing novel alternatives to antibiotic usage in poultry, the overall impact of this research will be a reduction in bacterial pathogens associated with chickens.