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item Siragusa, Gregory
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Bailey, Joseph
item Richardson, Larry
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item WILSON, J
item Hiett, Kelli
item Cosby, Douglas
item Bourassa, Dianna

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2004
Publication Date: 7/29/2004
Citation: Siragusa, G.R., Cox Jr, N.A., Bailey, J.S., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Hiett, K.L., Cosby, D.E., Bourassa, D.V. 2004. Incidence of Clostridium perfringens in egg follicles of broiler breeder hens. [abstract] Poultry Science. 83(suppl.1):73.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Subtypes of Clostridium perfringens are a major cause of human food borne gastroenteritis as well as the poultry disease necrotic enteritis. The natural presence of C. perfringens in individual mature and immature egg follicles and the homologous ceca from 66 and 60 week old broiler breeder hens were determined from two different commercial broiler breeder facilities. In accordance with humane animal treatment guidelines, hens were transported for overnight holding and processing at the University of Georgia. Using extraordinary measures to reduce external as well as cross contamination, immature/mature egg follicles and the corresponding ceca were aseptically removed. Samples were placed into individual stomacher bags, and immediately transported to our laboratory for within-the-hour analysis. Analytical determinations were based on non-selective enrichment culture followed by both cultural and PCR based tests. In the first trial, C. perfringens was detected and isolated from all ceca (n=8) and from only a single immature follicle (1 of 8) and from none of the mature egg follicles (0 of 8). In the second trial, C. perfringens was detected in 11 of 12 ceca, and from none of the immature or mature egg follicles. At this stage, based on the low follicular-derived isolation rate of C. perfringens, observed in this limited sized study, it appears that internal sections of the reproductive tract are not a particularly major source of C. perfringens. However, this evidence does not exclude the potential for the lower segments of the hen's reproductive tract nor the contribution of rooster semen as a harborage or source of C. perfringens. For the extent of the reproductive tract as a reservoir for C. perfringens to be more fully understood, trials during overt instances of necrotic enteritis and from drug-free facilities will be performed over different seasons. The genotypic comparison of the cecal-immature follicle paired isolates of C. perfringens is ongoing.