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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Egg Safety & Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306556

Research Project: Genetic Analysis of Poultry-Associated Salmonella enterica to Identify and Characterize Properties and Markers Associated with Egg-Borne Transmission of Illness

Location: Egg Safety & Quality Research

Title: The characterization of Salmonella enterica serovars isolated from the scalder tank water of a commercial poultry processing plant: Recovery of a multi-drug resistant S. Heidelberg

Author
item Rothrock, Michael
item Ingram, Kimberly - Kim
item Gamble, John
item Guard, Jean
item Cicconi-hogan, Kellie
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur
item Hiett, Kelli

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2014
Publication Date: 2/12/2015
Citation: Rothrock Jr, M.J., Ingram, K.D., Gamble, J., Guard, J.Y., Cicconi-Hogan, K.M., Hinton Jr, A., Hiett, K.L. 2015. The characterization of Salmonella enterica serovars isolated from the scalder tank water of a commercial poultry processing plant: Recovery of a multi-drug resistant S. Heidelberg. Poultry Science. 94(3):467-472.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of Salmonella enterica in the water of the final scalder tank throughout a typical processing day in a commercial broiler chicken processing plant. Three liters of scalder water were aseptically sampled three times daily for three consecutive days – at the start of the processing day prior to the birds entering the tank, midway through the processing day, and then at the end of the processing day after the final birds were scalded. Salmonella spp. were quantified (via MPN) and recovered isolates were characterized using several serotyping methods (serological and molecular) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). No Salmonella were recovered from start-of-day water samples, while a total of 56 Salmonella isolates were recovered from the mid-day and end of day scalder water samples. There was a general agreement between serotyping methods that the isolates belonged to either S. Kentucky (n = 45) or S. Heidelberg (n = 11), although the rep-PCR method indicated a greater amount of diversity of the isolates in these two serovars than the other serotyping methods. While none of the S. Kentucky isolates possessed any antimicrobial resistances, all S. Heidelberg isolates were found to be multidrug resistant to five specific antimicrobials representing three antimicrobial classes. Due to the potential public health impact of S. Heidelberg, and the recent nationwide poultry-associated outbreak of the multi-drug resistant S. Heidelberg, future studies should focus on understanding the transmission and environmental growth dynamics of this serovar within the commercial poultry processing plant environment.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of Salmonella enterica in the water of the final scalder tank throughout a typical processing day in a commercial broiler chicken processing plant. Three liters of scalder water were aseptically sampled three times daily for three consecutive days – at the start of the processing day prior to the birds entering the tank, midway through the processing day, and then at the end of the processing day after the final birds were scalded. Salmonella spp. were quantified (via MPN) and recovered isolates were characterized using several serotyping methods (serological and molecular) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). No Salmonella were recovered from start-of-day water samples, while a total of 56 Salmonella isolates were recovered from the mid-day and end of day scalder water samples. There was a general agreement between serotyping methods that the isolates belonged to either S. Kentucky (n = 45) or S. Heidelberg (n = 11), although the rep-PCR method indicated a greater amount of diversity of the isolates in these two serovars than the other serotyping methods. While none of the S. Kentucky isolates possessed any antimicrobial resistances, all S. Heidelberg isolates were found to be multidrug resistant to five specific antimicrobials representing three antimicrobial classes. Due to the potential public health impact of S. Heidelberg, and the recent nationwide poultry-associated outbreak of the multi-drug resistant S. Heidelberg, future studies should focus on understanding the transmission and environmental growth dynamics of this serovar within the commercial poultry processing plant environment.