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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Contaminated larval and adult darkling beetles can serve as vectors in transmission of Salmonella Typhimurium in a broiler flock)

Author
item Roche, A
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Richardson, Larry
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Fairchild, B
item Siragusa, Gregory
item Hinkle, N

Submitted to: Poultry International Exposition
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2007
Publication Date: 7/20/2008
Citation: Roche, A.J., Buhr, R.J., Richardson, L.J., Cox Jr, N.A., Fairchild, B.D., Siragusa, G.R., Hinkle, N.C. 2008. Contaminated larval and adult darkling beetles can serve as vectors in transmission of Salmonella Typhimurium in a broiler flock. Poultry International Exposition. 87(S1):142.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Understanding the role darkling beetles serve in Salmonella transmission is critical in order to develop better food pathogen intervention strategies on the broiler farm. Prior studies have shown that Salmonella can persist in darkling beetles (Alphitobius diaperinus) up to 63 d, more than long enough to contaminate subsequent broiler flocks. The objective of this study was to assess the spread of S. Typhimurium in a broiler flock via seeder chicks gavaged with colonized adult or larval beetles. Day-of-hatch chicks were challenged naladixic acid resistant of S. Typhimurium at a 10^4 CFU/ bird by either a peptone suspension or gavage with 4 adult or 4 larval beetles. Either 1 or 2 seeder chicks for each challenge type were then placed into pens containing non-inoculated chicks. Each pen contained a total of 40 chicks at a density of 0.7 ft^2/bird. Cecal samples were taken at 3 and 6 wk of age. For the peptone challenge pens 29% of the seeder broilers were positive and 10% of the sampled pen mates were positive at 3 wk of age and 2% at 6 wk. For the adult beetle challenge pens, 0% of the seeder broilers were positive and 15% of sampled pen mates were positive at 3 wk and 7% at 6 wk. For the larval beetle challenge pens, 33% of the seeder broilers were positive and 45% of sampled pen mates were positive at 3 wk and 11% at 6 wk. In this study, seeder chicks became colonized with Salmonella by oral gavage of either adult or larval beetles and spread Salmonella to pen mates. These results demonstrate that beetles colonized with Salmonella could be a significant vector for the transmission of Salmonella to chicks when ingested and readily spread Salmonella to pen mates.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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