Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303414

Title: Colonization of day-old broilers with gentamicin-resistant Campylobacter coli following challenge via different inoculation routes

item Cosby, Douglas
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item HARRISON, MARK - University Of Georgia
item Berrang, Mark
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item WILSON, JENNA - University Of Georgia
item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2014
Publication Date: 7/14/2014
Citation: Cosby, D.E., Cox Jr, N.A., Harrison, M.A., Berrang, M.E., Buhr, R.J., Wilson, J.L., Cray, P.J. 2014. Colonization of day-old broilers with gentamicin-resistant Campylobacter coli following challenge via different inoculation routes. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. July 14-17,2014. Corpus Christi, Texas.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Campylobacteriosis is most often attributed to Campylobacter jejuni. However, recent studies have indicated that Campylobacter coli might be responsible for as much as 9% of human infections reported in the United States and 7% in England and Wales. Poultry has long been a leading source for human campylobacteriosis. Several body openings in a newly hatched chick may be exposed to Campylobacter in the hatchery and grow-out environment. Once Campylobacter colonizes the ceca of young chicks, it can multiply to high levels in a relatively short time period, and upon excretion, create the perfect environment for cross contamination. In this study, Campylobacter coli naturally resistant to high levels of gentamicin (CcGR) was inoculated into day-of-hatch chicks (n=10 birds/route/concentration) via the mouth (with and without 5% CaCO3 as a buffer), nares, eye and cloaca at three different concentrations (approximately 20, 200 and 2000 cells/bird) to determine which route and concentration would produce the highest level of cecal colonization. The entire experiment was replicated and chicks were reared in isolation units on wire floors with ad libitum access to feed and water. All inoculation routes resulted in 100% colonization in the 7 day old chicks with CcGR when the inoculum was greater than or equal to 200 cells/bird with the exception of the inoculation of the nares of which only 65% of the ceca were colonized. At the lowest inoculum level (approximately 20 cells/bird), no birds were colonized via the nares. Conversely, 100% of the intracloacal, 66% of the eye, 33% of the oral without 5% CaCO3, and 100% of the oral with 5% CaCO3 inoculated birds were positive for CcGR in the ceca. These data show that C. coli can readily colonize the ceca of day-of-hatch birds by different routes of inoculation and in particular, routes other than fecal/oral. The inclusion of CaCO3 as a buffer to simulate the chicks ingesting eggshells in the hatching cabinet indicates that the low pH of the gastric system might have less protective effect than previously believed. Determining the possible routes of entry of C. coli and possibly other Campylobacter into broilers may lead to the development of effective intervention strategies.