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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354706

Research Project: Production and Processing Intervention Strategies for Poultry Associated Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research

Title: Turkey breeder pathogens-evaluation of vertical transmission of salmonella and campylobacter in breeder turkeys

Author
item CRESPO, MARIA - North Carolina State University
item GRIMES, JESSE - North Carolina State University
item KATHARIOU, SOPHIA - North Carolina State University
item Cox, Nelson - Nac
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item SMITH, DOUG - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science and Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2018
Publication Date: 4/18/2018
Citation: Crespo, M.D., Grimes, J.L., Kathariou, S., Cox Jr, N.A., Buhr, R.J., Smith, D.P. 2018. Turkey breeder pathogens-evaluation of vertical transmission of salmonella and campylobacter in breeder turkeys. Journal of Animal Science and Research. 2(2). doi.org/10.16966/2576-6457.112.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.16966/2576-6457.112

Interpretive Summary: These experiments were conducted to determine if the presence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in semen during artificial insemination of the turkey breeder hens could adversely impact egg fertility and hatchability, and result in vertical transmission (through the egg to the embryo and to the hatched poult) of these bacteria. Based on the results of this study the presence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in semen during artificial insemination did not impact fertility or hatchability. Results indicated that the washing and sanitizing hatching eggs may decrease the potential for horizontal transmission of Salmonella through the eggshell. Artificial insemination of hens with semen contaminated with Salmonella or Campylobacter could not demonstrated vertical transmission of either bacteria to eggs or to hatched poults. Further study is needed to investigate this potential route of transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter. In addition, better control of environmental (naturally occurring) strains of Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria need to be considered.

Technical Abstract: Salmonella and Campylobacter are pathogens of concern frequently associated with poultry products. Production management intervention in breeder flocks and their progeny has potential to reduce the transmission of these bacteria. However, evidence of direct vertical transmission of these organisms through fertile turkey eggs to the progeny has not been demonstrated. The objective of this study was to determine if Campylobacter or Salmonella was transmitted through eggs and progeny of turkeys after artificial inoculation of breeder hens with semen containing marker strains of both bacteria (inoculated hens), as compared to uninoculated control hens. Eggs were collected and eggshells and yolks were checked for the presence of marker strains of Salmonella and Campylobacter. Eggs from both groups of hens were also set for incubation and hatch. At day of hatch, the number of hatched and unhatched eggs was recorded. Swabs from the hatchery trays containing eggshells and fecal residues were obtained, and paper pads with fecal droppings from both groups of poults, from inoculated and control hens, were also analyzed. Reproductive tract (RT) segments, including ovary and ovarian follicles, and upper level of the tract (from infundibulum to isthmus), of hens from both breeder flocks were analyzed at week 65. Semen and testes from toms were also analyzed. No evidence was obtained for vertical transmission of the marker strains through artificial insemination. However, Salmonella and Campylobacter were found in RT of hens and semen from toms, indicating a potential route of transmission of these foodborne pathogens to the progeny.