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Research Project: Characterizing Antimicrobial Resistance in Poultry Production Environments

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Title: Broiler house particulate matter, aerobiome and antibiotic resistant E. coli under “raised without antibiotics” production

item ZOCK, GREGORY - University Of Georgia
item CHAI, LILONG - University Of Georgia
item Oladeinde, Adelumola - Ade
item JOHNSON, JASMINE - University Of Georgia
item BOSCH, ANNA MARIE - University Of Georgia
item Plumblee Lawrence, Jodie
item FULLER, ALBERTA - University Of Georgia
item MILFORT, MARIE - University Of Georgia
item Cudnik, Denice
item AGGREY, SAMUEL - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: World Poultry Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Broiler houses introduce high levels of particulate matter (PM) and airborne bacteria which may lead to health concerns and pathogenic transfer in birds and handlers. The general shift towards antibiotic (AB)-free live broiler production indicates the need for active research on AB resistant commensal bacteria that may persist in broiler houses under “Raised Without AB (RWA)” production. While studies have shown compositional profiles of PM and bacteria in broiler houses, there is no data on temporal or spatial changes in broiler house aerobiome or AB resistant bacteria. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between PM, litter factors (moisture and E. coli abundance), aerobiome, and AB resistant E. coli. 125 Cobb-500 broiler chicks were raised in floor pens on “built-up” litter for 49 days following RWA production conditions. A DustTrak DRX (TSI Inc) was used to measure airborne PM sizes of 2.5 and 10 micrometers. Open petri dishes with ECC CHROMagar(TM) or Brain Heart Infusion agar were placed in the broiler house to quantify levels of airborne coliforms, E. coli, and total bacteria. Bacterial and PM sampling took place at heights representing bird level (height 1), human level (height 2) and upper room circulation (height 3) for 12 minutes. PM sizes consisted of 18-25% PM2.5 and 33-50% PM10 regardless of height or day of sampling. PM changed consistently throughout the study, and there was no significant difference between heights (P>0.05). No airborne E. coli was detected at day 0, however, E. coli was measured on day 7 at 2.98 and 3.76 log CFU/m3 for height 1 and 3. Although airborne E. coli increased and ranged from 4.49-4.95 log CFU/m3 from day 14-28, there was no significant difference between heights (P>0.05). In contrast, coliform bacteria concentration decreased at all heights from day 14–28. AB susceptibility testing was done on a selected number of E. coli isolates (n=71) with 66% of isolates susceptible to 14 antibiotics tested and 23% displaying multidrug resistance to two or more classes of antibiotics. A multiple regression test revealed that airborne E.coli was positively correlated to litter E. coli and PM2.5 (P<0.001) and negatively correlated to PM10 (P<0.001). Litter moisture showed no significant correlation with airborne E. coli. There was no significant correlation between PM, litter factors and concentrations of airborne coliforms.