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Effect of Diet on Microecology of Gastrointestinal Tract and Enteropathogen Colonization of Poultry

Kubena, Leon
Texas A&M University
Start date
End date
  1. To determine the effects of dietary modifications on the microecology of the gastrointestinal tract and colonization of poultry by enteropathogens
  2. To understand the potential role of the crop for enteropathogen virulence expression while birds are undergoing dietary regimen stress
  3. To understand genetics of virulence expression while birds are undergoing dietary regimen stress and determine if key genes can be linked with limiting colonization and virulence expression
  4. To develop and validate quantitative in situ hybridization techniques for the enumeration of hydrogen consuming methanogenic and acidogenic bacteria that may play a critical role in maintaining low partial pressures of hydrogen in fermentative environments.
More information

The ability of enteropathogens to colonize the gastrointestinal tract of an animal is dependent on bacterial factors that permit the organism to survive in the gastrointestinal environment. Comparisons will be made of the indigenous microbial response in crops of birds that have been stressed by various dietary regimens. The hypothesis is that dietary modifications will cause a slight reduction in feed intake but the crop microflora will retain active fermentation to the point of being inhibitory to enteropathogen colonization and invasion. The key indicators of an active fermentation in the crop, low pH and high concentration of lactate, will be measured as well as quanitation of fermentation products and enumeration of crop lactobacilli. Whether these key characteristics in the chicken crop microenvironment can be linked with limiting enteropathogen invasion will be determined by examining virulence activity with a gene fusion strain for in vitro assays of crop contents.

Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project number
Accession number
Viruses and Prions
Meat, Poultry, Game