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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323015

Research Project: Alternative Intervention and Control Strategies for Foodborne Pathogens in Poultry and Poultry Products

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Chitosan supplementation reduces enteric colonization of Campylobacter jejuni in broiler chickens and down-regulates expression of colonization genes

Author
item Arambel, Hanna - University Of Arkansas
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item Arsi, Komala - University Of Arkansas
item Upadhyay, Abhinav - University Of Arkansas
item Woo-ming, Ann - University Of Arkansas
item Blore, Pam - University Of Arkansas
item Venkitanarayanan, Kumar - University Of Connecticut
item Donoghue, Dan - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2015
Publication Date: 10/27/2015
Citation: Arambel, H., Donoghue, A.M., Arsi, K., Upadhyay, A., Woo-Ming, A., Blore, P., Venkitanarayanan, K., Donoghue, D.J. 2015. Chitosan supplementation reduces enteric colonization of Campylobacter jejuni in broiler chickens and down-regulates expression of colonization genes. Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences. 1(5):104-111.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter is one of the leading causes of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide, and poultry is considered as the most common source of human infections. Campylobacter is prevalent in most poultry flocks and a reduction of Campylobacter in poultry would greatly reduce the risk of campylobacteriosis in humans. Unfortunately, efforts to reduce Campylobacter in preharvest poultry have been met with limited success. Preliminary studies with the natural compound, chitosan, demonstrate its ability to kill Campylobacter, in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of feed supplemented chitosan to reduce enteric Campylobacter colonization in broiler chickens. Additionally, the effect of chitosan on expression of Campylobacter’s chicken colonization genes was investigated using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Because chitosan’s antimicrobial properties may vary depending upon its molecular weight, selected doses of three molecular weight chitosans were supplemented in the feed, and evaluated for efficacy to reduce Campylobacter in chickens. Three replicate trials were conducted and in each trial, birds were divided into 10 treatments (n=10 birds/treatment) and were fed 0% (controls), 0.25%, 0.5% or 1% (wt./wt.) of a low, medium or high molecular weight chitosan. Birds were fed treated feed for the duration of the study, and orally challenged with a four-strain mixture of wild type C. jejuni on day 6. On day 15, the ceca samples were collected for enumeration of Campylobacter. In all three trials, the 0.5% dose of the medium molecular weight chitosan reduced cecal Campylobacter counts (P<0.05). RT-qPCR analysis revealed that chitosan down-regulated the expression of chicken colonization genes as compared to control (P<0.05). These results suggest that supplementation of chitosan in feed is a potential strategy to reduce the enteric colonization of Campylobacter in pre-harvest chickens.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter is one of the leading causes of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide, and poultry is considered as the most common source of human infections. Campylobacter is prevalent in most poultry flocks and a reduction of Campylobacter in poultry would greatly reduce the risk of campylobacteriosis in humans. Unfortunately, efforts to reduce Campylobacter in preharvest poultry have been met with limited success. Preliminary studies with the natural compound, chitosan, demonstrate its ability to kill Campylobacter, in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of feed supplemented chitosan to reduce enteric Campylobacter colonization in broiler chickens. Additionally, the effect of chitosan on expression of Campylobacter’s chicken colonization genes was investigated using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Because chitosan’s antimicrobial properties may vary depending upon its molecular weight, selected doses of three molecular weight chitosans were supplemented in the feed, and evaluated for efficacy to reduce Campylobacter in chickens. Three replicate trials were conducted and in each trial, birds were divided into 10 treatments (n=10 birds/treatment) and were fed 0% (controls), 0.25%, 0.5% or 1% (wt./wt.) of a low, medium or high molecular weight chitosan. Birds were fed treated feed for the duration of the study, and orally challenged with a four-strain mixture of wild type C. jejuni on day 6. On day 15, the ceca samples were collected for enumeration of Campylobacter. In all three trials, the 0.5% dose of the medium molecular weight chitosan reduced cecal Campylobacter counts (P<0.05). RT-qPCR analysis revealed that chitosan down-regulated the expression of chicken colonization genes as compared to control (P<0.05). These results suggest that supplementation of chitosan in feed is a potential strategy to reduce the enteric colonization of Campylobacter in pre-harvest chickens.