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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324483

Title: Routes of transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter in breeder turkeys

item CRESPO, M - North Carolina State University
item KATHARIOU, S - North Carolina State University
item GRIMES, J - North Carolina State University
item Cox Jr, Nelson
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item Frye, Jonathan
item Miller, William - Bill
item Jackson, Charlene
item SMITH, DOUGLAS - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2016
Publication Date: 12/16/2016
Citation: Crespo, M.D., Kathariou, S., Grimes, J.L., Cox Jr., N.A., Buhr, R.J., Frye, J.G., Miller, W.G., Jackson, C.R., Smith, D.P. 2016. Routes of transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter in breeder turkeys. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 25(4):591-609.

Interpretive Summary: A group of young turkey poults (toms and hens) were orally inoculated with a marker Salmonella and Campylobacter and placed on the opposite sides of a growout house from an uninoculated control group and microbiologically monitored over a 65 wk period. Potential vectors such as mice and flies were also analyzed. The marker strains and naturally occurring strains were detected and persisted in the control group. These organisms were also isolated from mice and flies confirming the importance of proper pest control and biosecurity to minimize horizontal spread of these bacteria in turkey flocks.

Technical Abstract: Salmonella and Campylobacter are frequent colonizers of the intestinal tracts of poultry and have often been associated with human foodborne illness. The entry, transmission and prevalence of both pathogens have been extensively studied in chickens but little information is available for turkeys. This project monitored turkey breeder hens and toms from day of hatch to 65 wk of age with the objective of determining routes of transmission for Salmonella and Campylobacter throughout the turkey production cycle. Breeder poults were separated by sex and then in two groups (control and inoculated) for each sex. The inoculated group was orally gavaged with marker strains of both Salmonella and Campylobacter. The inoculated groups (toms and hens) were placed on the opposite side of the growout house from the uninoculated groups. Fecal samples, intestinal samples and organs, feed, drinkers, and potential vectors such as insects and mice, were analyzed at different times until 65 wk. Monitoring showed that Campylobacter spread rapidly and cross-contaminated turkeys throughout the growout house. For both Salmonella and Campylobacter, naturally occurring strains that were first isolated in control groups at wk 3 and 4, respectively, outcompeted marker strains several weeks post-inoculation and persisted in the flock. The most common naturally occurring strains were C. jejuni (tetracycline resistant), C. coli (kanamycin resistant), and S. Agona. Campylobacter and Salmonella were also isolated from flies and from a mouse, confirming the importance of proper pest control and biosecurity to reduce the spread of the bacteria.