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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Donoghue, Dan
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item Hargis, Billy
item Blore, Pam
item Cox, Nelson
item Cole, Kim

Submitted to: Food Safety Consortium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2003
Publication Date: 10/12/2003
Citation: Donoghue, D.J., Donoghue, A.M., Hargis, B.M., Blore, P., Cox, N., Cole, K. 2003. Campylobacter in semen: investigating potential modes of infection in turkeys. Food Safety Consortium Proceedings. 2003 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We have isolated Campylobacter and Samonella enteritidis (SE) from semen of commerical turkey toms. In addition, in an ongoing study we have detected Campylobacter in the reproductive tracts of both toms and hens. We have demonstrated that commercially available poultry semen extenders containing antibiotics produce a limited reduction in general bacterial load or SE, and have little effect on C. jejuni in turkey semen, however, wildtype Campylobacter isolated from turkey semen and ceca were more susceptible to an antibiotic cocktail. Aeration and reduced temperatures, typical procedures used to maitain sperm viability before insemination did not reduce Campylobacter concentrations in vitro. Semen collection by the nature of the toms anatomy is predisposed to fecal contamination. Because semen on turkey farms is pooled and then used to inseminate multiple hens, contaminated semen could easily spread these pathogens throughout entire flocks via artificial insemination. Because turkey semen has not been considered a source for pathogenic bacteria, antibacterial diluents for these pathogens have not been developed or tested for efficacy against human food borne pathogens.

Last Modified: 08/16/2017
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