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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » ESQRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318513

Title: Persistence of fecal shedding of Salmonella Enteritidis by experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages.

Author
item Gast, Richard
item Guraya, Rupinder - Rupa
item Jones, Deana
item ANDERSON, KENNETH - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2015
Publication Date: 7/15/2015
Citation: Gast, R.K., Guraya, R., Jones, D.R., Anderson, K.E. 2015. Persistence of fecal shedding of Salmonella Enteritidis by experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. 94 (E-Suppl.1):60.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Because Salmonella Enteritidis can be deposited inside eggs laid by infected hens, the prevalence of this pathogen in commercial egg-producing flocks is an important risk factor for human illness. Opportunities for the introduction, transmission, and persistence of salmonellae in poultry are potentially influenced by flock housing and management systems. Animal welfare concerns have spurred the development of alternatives to traditional cage-based housing. However, the consequences of poultry housing systems for food safety have not been fully resolved by prior research. The present study assessed the effects of 2 different housing systems (conventional cages and colony cages enriched with perching and nesting areas) on the persistence of fecal shedding of S. Enteritidis by groups of experimentally infected laying hens. In each of 2 trials, 136 hens were distributed among cages of both housing systems and orally inoculated with doses of 108 cfu of S. Enteritidis (phage type 13a in one trial and phage type 4 in the other). At weekly intervals, samples of voided feces were collected from beneath each cage and cultured to detect S. Enteritidis. Fecal shedding of S. Enteritidis was detected for up to 8 wk post-inoculation by hens housed in enriched colony cages and 10 wk by hens housed in conventional cages. For both trials combined, the frequency of positive fecal cultures was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for conventional cages than for enriched colony cages at 1 wk (84.7 vs. 71.5%), 2wk (54.2 vs. 31.3%), 3 wk (21.5 vs. 7.6%), and 4 wk (9.7 vs. 2.8%) post-inoculation. These results demonstrate that the susceptibility of hens to intestinal colonization by S. Enteritidis can differ between conventional and enriched cage-based production systems, although this effect does not necessarily translate into a corresponding difference in the longer-term persistence of fecal shedding.