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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #197164


item Byrd Ii, James - Allen
item BAILEY, R
item WILLS, R
item Nisbet, David

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2006
Publication Date: 1/20/2007
Citation: Byrd II, J.A., Bailey, R.H., Wills, R.W., Nisbet, D.J. 2007. Recovery of Campylobacter from commercial broiler hatchery trayliners. Poultry Science. 86:26-29.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter are important foodborne pathogens that cause potentially fatal disease in humans. Eating poultry meat products has been shown to increase the chance of Campylobacter food poisoning. Campylobacter has been found in adult chickens and chicken eggs but not in newly-hatched chicks. We found that by testing the paper that chicks stand on top of prior to being shipped to the farm, we can identify chicks that have Campylobacter at hatch. The test uses a common Campylobacter testing method but included protein water that allows Campylobacter to survive during the test conditions. Using this simple test, it may help identify new treatments for reducing food poisoning caused by Campylobacter.

Technical Abstract: Previous research has identified Campylobacter as one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. Poultry and poultry products have been identified as a major source of Campylobacter in human infections. Although many risk factors that contribute to Campylobacter levels have been identified, precise identification of the most effective sites for intervention has not been established. Epidemiological studies have identified Campylobacter in the broiler breeder’s reproductive tract, fertile eggs and 2-3 week-old broilers. Numerous studies have shown that day-of-hatch broilers are Campylobacter-negative using conventional culture methods. The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate the prevalence of Campylobacter found in day-of-hatch broilers using a peptone water pre-enrichment followed by conventional Campylobacter culture methods. Using conventional trayliner (hatcheries) culture methods, the isolation distribution of Campylobacter from eight commercial broiler hatcheries (n=2000) was evaluated. A total of 15 trayliners were positive from three different hatcheries. Of 2000 chick paper pad trayliners sampled, 0.75% were positive for Campylobacter. These data support previous findings indicating the potential for Campylobacter to be spread by vertical transmission. This is the first time that Campylobacter has been recovered from trayliners collected at commercial broiler hatcheries.