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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 #321223

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 EFFECT OF EMBRYONIC AGE AND BREEDER FLOCK AGE ON THE GASTROINTESTINAL MICROBIOME OF DEVELOPING BROILER CHICKEN: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR FOOD SAFETY

Author
item Rothrock, Michael
item Hiett, Kelli
item Caudill, Andrew
item Sellers, Holly

Submitted to: Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2015
Publication Date: 11/1/2015
Citation: Rothrock Jr, M.J., Hiett, K.L., Caudill, A., Sellers, H. 2015. THE EFFECT OF EMBRYONIC AGE AND BREEDER FLOCK AGE ON THE GASTROINTESTINAL MICROBIOME OF DEVELOPING BROILER CHICKEN: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR FOOD SAFETY (abstract). Campylobacter Helicobacter and Related Organisms International Workshop. Rotorua, New Zealand, Nov 1-5, 2015, p.81.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Background: There are several food-safety issues related to broiler egg production, including the introduction/proliferation of zoonotic pathogens during embryonic gastrointestinal (GI) tract development. Little is known about the overall GI bacterial communities, how they change over time, or how their composition could influence zoonotic pathogen survival/transmission. Objectives: The objectives of this study were: (1) use 16S microbiomic sequencing to determine the structure of the overall developing GI bacterial community; (2) determine the effects of embryonic age and broiler breeder flock age on developing GI bacterial communities; and, (3) focus on the abundance of Salmonella and Campylobacter within these GI communities and how these temporal changes affect their abundance. Methods: GI tracts were aseptically removed from commercial broiler eggs at 4 times (7-, 15-, 20-days post fertilization, and 1-day post-hatch) from broiler breeder flocks of three different ages (20, 35, and 60 weeks). As part of a second study, eggs from the 20-week-old flock were re-sampled at 35 and 60 weeks of age. DNA was extracted and 16S microbiomic sequencing analysis (using QIIME) was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Conclusions: Both embryonic and breeder flock age had significant effects on the developing GI microbiome of broiler eggs. While Salmonella sequences were present in low abundances, fluctuations in the abundance of Campylobacter sequences were more pronounced, especially in the second study. Considering Campylobacter has never been recovered culturally from broiler eggs, these results show the presence of a significant Campylobacter population during embryonic development and how these abundances are potentially related to breeder flock age.