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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336828

Research Project: Antibiotic Alternatives for Controlling Foodborne Pathogens and Disease in Poultry

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Litter treatment with Aluminum Sulfate (Alum) produced an inconsistent reduction in horizontal transmission of Campylobacter in chickens

Author
item Arsi, Komala - University Of Arkansas
item Moore, Philip
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item Dirain, Marvin - University Of Arkansas
item Donoghue, Dan - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2017
Publication Date: 1/15/2017
Citation: Arsi, K., Moore Jr, P.A., Donoghue, A.M., Dirain, M., Donoghue, D.J. 2017. Litter treatment with Aluminum Sulfate (Alum) produced an inconsistent reduction in horizontal transmission of Campylobacter in chickens. International Journal of Poultry Science. 16:31-36.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacteriosis is a significant health problem worldwide and poultry products are considered as one of the main vehicles of transmission. Alum treatment of poultry litter was reported to decrease Campylobacter colonization frequency and population in the ceca in broilers. Little is known about how alum reduces enteric Campylobacter counts. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine whether alum reduces Campylobacter colonization in the ceca of broilers by reducing horizontal transmission between birds or by reducing Campylobacter counts in birds already colonized (therapeutic efficacy). Two replicate experiments were conducted and in each experiment, newly hatched commercial broilers (n=295) were divided into seven treatment groups including controls. Each treatment was reared in either no (0 kg), low (0.78 kg m-2) or high (1.58 kg m-2) concentrations of aluminum sulfate (alum; Al+Clear). During days 7, 14, 28 and 42, ten birds from each treatment were analyzed for Campylobacter counts in the ceca. To evaluate whether alum inhibits horizontal transmission between birds, Campylobacter negative birds were reared with Campylobacter inoculated birds (5.2 x 106 cfu/mL) that served as carriers. Results demonstrated that alum reduced (P<0.05) horizontal transmission of Campylobacter at d 14 and 28 in Exp. 1 and only with the highest concentration of alum at d 42 in Exp. 2. To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of alum, all birds were inoculated with Campylobacter (5.2 x 106 cfu/mL) prior to placement in pens. Infected birds reared on low or high alum had lower (P<0.05) Campylobacter counts at d 14 and 28 in only 1 of 2 experiments. At d 42, there were no differences in cecal Campylobacter counts between alum treated and untreated controls in Exp. 1 and for only the highest concentration in Exp. 2. It appears treating litter with alum is not a consistent way to reduce enteric Campylobacter counts.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacteriosis is a significant health problem worldwide and poultry products are considered as one of the main vehicles of transmission. Alum treatment of poultry litter was reported to decrease Campylobacter colonization frequency and population in the ceca in broilers. Little is known about how alum reduces enteric Campylobacter counts. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine whether alum reduces Campylobacter colonization in the ceca of broilers by reducing horizontal transmission between birds or by reducing Campylobacter counts in birds already colonized (therapeutic efficacy). Two replicate experiments were conducted and in each experiment, newly hatched commercial broilers (n=295) were divided into seven treatment groups including controls. Each treatment was reared in either no (0 kg), low (0.78 kg m-2) or high (1.58 kg m-2) concentrations of aluminum sulfate (alum; Al+Clear). During days 7, 14, 28 and 42, ten birds from each treatment were analyzed for Campylobacter counts in the ceca. To evaluate whether alum inhibits horizontal transmission between birds, Campylobacter negative birds were reared with Campylobacter inoculated birds (5.2 x 106 cfu/mL) that served as carriers. Results demonstrated that alum reduced (P<0.05) horizontal transmission of Campylobacter at d 14 and 28 in Exp. 1 and only with the highest concentration of alum at d 42 in Exp. 2. To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of alum, all birds were inoculated with Campylobacter (5.2 x 106 cfu/mL) prior to placement in pens. Infected birds reared on low or high alum had lower (P<0.05) Campylobacter counts at d 14 and 28 in only 1 of 2 experiments. At d 42, there were no differences in cecal Campylobacter counts between alum treated and untreated controls in Exp. 1 and for only the highest concentration in Exp. 2. It appears treating litter with alum is not a consistent way to reduce enteric Campylobacter counts.