Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Egg and Poultry Production Safety Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365650

Research Project: Reduction of Invasive Salmonella enterica in Poultry through Genomics, Phenomics and Field Investigations of Small Multi-Species Farm Environments

Location: Egg and Poultry Production Safety Research Unit

Title: Efficacy of a novel, all-natural bioproduct to reduce microbial populations within poultry litter

item Rothrock, Michael
item COOK, KIMBERLY - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item WAGNER, ASHLEY - Probiotech International, Inc
item GIRARD, IVAN - Probiotech International, Inc

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2019
Publication Date: 7/15/2019
Citation: Rothrock Jr, M.J., Cook, K., Wagner, A.L., Girard, I.D. 2019. Efficacy of a novel, all-natural bioproduct to reduce microbial populations within poultry litter. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. 683 p.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Due to the recent implementation of the Veterinary Feed Directive, antibiotic use in poultry production can no longer be used for prophylactic purposes. Therefore, there is a direct need to develop alternative to antibiotics to control microbial populations inherent throughout the poultry production chain. Poultry litter acts as a microbial reservoir during the pre-harvest period and represents a critical control point for the contamination/re-contamination of a commercial flock. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of a novel, proprietary biological product to reduce general microbial populations and pathogenic populations. In a laboratory scale microcosm study, 5 different rates of the bioproduct (1X application on d0, 10X application on d0, 100X application on d0, 1X application weekly, 0X control) were added to triplicate jars each containing 350g of poultry litter collected from commercial poultry houses after 2-3 flocks, and the litter moisture content was raised to ~55% to emulate conditions found under the waterer lines. On a weekly basis (to d42) homogenous samples were taken from each jar (~15g) and analyzed culturally (total aerobic, total Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms), molecularly via qPCR (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium), and physiochemically (pH, EC, moisture content), and two-way ANOVAs using Fisher’s LSD post-tests were used to look at the effect of sampling time and treatment on the microbial (log10-transformmed) and physiochemical data. While sampling time significantly affected all microbial populations tested, the bioproduct significantly reduced total Enterobacteriaceae (p<0.0001), coliforms (p<0.0001) and Clostridium (p=0.0128), while not significantly affecting litter physiochemistry. In terms of rate of bioproduct application, the 10X rate was the most effective at reducing bacterial populations, resulting in significantly lower total Enterobacteriaceae (p<0.0002), coliforms (p<0.0197) and Clostridum (p<0.0474) that the other application rates and the control. The natural Salmonella and Campylobacter levels in the litter were quite low throughout (<1 log copies/qPCR), therefore future spiking studies will be needed to assess the true efficacy of this bioproduct against these major foodborne pathogens. These data suggest that a 10X application rate of this novel, proprietary bioproduct has the potential to significantly reduce general and potentially pathogenic microbial populations with poultry litter, and these studies need to be expanded to house-scale tests with live birds to further assess their efficacy to be considered an antibiotic alternative used within the poultry industry to improve product safety.