Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/6/2000
Publication Date: 3/1/2001
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: In recent years, there has been increased consumer concern regarding the contamination of products with salmonellae. Poultry products are among those products sometimes contaminated with various types of Salmonella and are a source of human salmonellosis. Factors involved in preventing young chicks from being colonized by salmonellae are the early establishment of microflora in the gastrointestinal tract and the production of volatile fatty acids, such as propionic acid. Adequate information is not available on the effects of toxins (poisons) such as the mycotoxins aflatoxin and T-2 toxin, frequent contaminants of grains and feeds, on the chick microflora and the resistance to salmonellae colonization. In the present study, chicks were fed diets containing no mycotoxins and diets containing either aflatoxin or T-2 toxin to determine their effects on the amounts of volatile fatty acids and colonization of the chicks by Salmonella. Feeding chicks aflatoxin had no effects on the amounts of volatile fatty acids or colonization by Salmonella; however, feeding chicks high levels of T-2 toxin caused a decrease in the production of volatile fatty acids and an increase in colonization by Salmonella. This information will alert the poultry industry to the fact that toxins in the diet may influence the occurrence of Salmonella in the chicks and is an important consideration in planning an overall salmonellae protection plan to insure a continued supply of safe poultry products for consumers.
Technical Abstract: Four experiments were conducted using day of hatch mixed-sex broiler chicks to evaluate the effects of aflatoxins and T-2 toxin on cecal VFA and the susceptibility to Salmonella typhimurium (ST) colonization. All chicks in these experiments were challenged orally with 10**4 cfu of ST on d 3. In Experiments 1 and 2, chicks were fed diets containing 0, 2.5 or 7.5 mg aflatoxins/kg of diet and were allowed to develop their microflora naturally. In Experiment 3, all chicks were orally gavaged on the day of hatch with a CE culture (PREEMPT**TM) and fed diets containing 0, 2.5, or 7.5 mg T-2 toxin/kg. In Experiment 4, the chicks were fed diets containing 0, 7.5, or 15.0 mg T-2 toxin/kg and one-half of the chicks were orally gavaged on the day of hatch with the CE culture. In Experiments 1 and 2, with minor exceptions, there were no treatment effects. In Experiment 3, the only alteration in concentrations of cecal propionic acid or total VFA was a significant reduction in total VFA at 5 d in chicks fed the 2.5 mg T-2 toxin/kg diet. No significant treatment differences were observed for numbers of ST cecal culture-positive chicks or in the numbers of ST in the cecal contents. In Experiment 4, with minor exceptions, the chicks treated with the CE culture had higher cecal concentrations of propionic acid and were less susceptible to Salmonella colonization than the non CE-treated chicks (30% vs. 87%). In the CE-treated chicks, there was a decrease in propionic acid concentration at 3 d and 11 d and an increase in susceptibility to Salmonella colonization of the chicks fed the 15.0 mg T- 2 toxin/kg diet. These results indicate that cecal concentrations of VFA can be affected by toxins such as high concentrations of T-2 toxin and that resistance to Salmonella colonization may be reduced.