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Investigation of Control Measures for Salmonella, Camplylobacter, and Coccidia in Commerical Poultry

Caldwell, David
Texas A&M University
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  1. To investigate methods or mechanisms with the potential to reduce Salmonella and/or Campylobacter in commercial poultry or poultry products. Within this overall objective, two specific objectives exist: a)Evaluation of probiotic administration during feed withdrawal for control of Salmonella and/or Campylobacter in commercial broiler chickens; b)Identification of new methods of sanitizing poultry rearing premises to reduce resident Salmonella and/or Campylobacter.
  2. To identify factors which influence, either positively or negatively, coccidiosis vaccination in commercial broiler and broiler breeder chickens. Within this overall objective, two specific objectives exist: a)Influence of nutritional factors or probiotic administration on broiler or broiler breeder performance during coccidiosis vaccination; b)Effect of administration of the anticoccidial drug amprolium on coccidiosis vaccination in commercial broiler breeder chickens.
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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Bacterial foodborne infection in humans is frequently caused by Salmonella and Campylobacter linked to poultry as a source of infection. The current five year plan has a specific focus on identifying methods for reducing both Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry and in the poultry rearing environment. If proven effective, improvements in human health by improving poultry food safety may be achievable. Avian coccidiosis is the most economically important parasitic disease of commercially reared poultry. By improving the effectiveness of vaccination or immunization of commercial poultry against coccidiosis, the boost in immunity or resistance that develops in commercial poultry flocks will reduce the dependence on chemotherapeutic methods of control, and as such increase production parameters including weight gain and improved feed conversion during the normal production cycle. Such research has the ultimate goal of improving disease resistance in commercially reared poultry, which in turns allows poultry to be reared on a more cost feasible basis.

APPROACH: Objective 1a: In a series of research trials conducted within pathogen-challenge facilities located on the Texas A&M University (TAMU) campus, we will challenge market age (42-49 days of age) broiler chickens with both Salmonella and Campylobacter and evaluate the effect of probiotic administration on bacterial colonization and shedding during simulated commercial feed withdrawal. Findings from these controlled trials will then be extended by evaluating similar parameters of Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination under commercial rearing conditions to identify the real world potential of probiotic administration as a control measure during pre-slaughter feed withdrawal. Objective 1b: Fire fighting foam is currently used within the commercial poultry industry for mass euthanasia where infectious microorganisms are identified in commercial poultry flocks. In research conducted within this five year plan, we will focus upon using disinfectants in fire fighting foam to remediate Salmonella and/or Campylobacter from poultry premises under experimental and commercial settings. Objective 2a: Our laboratory has recently reported that a slightly elevated dietary protein level and adjusted amino acid profile can positively improve broiler performance during coccidiosis vaccination as compared to using an anticoccidial drug. Using our previous work as a guide, we will evaluate the influence of dietary protein and amino acid profile for broiler breeder performance during coccidiosis vaccination. During these controlled experiments conducted at the TAMU research farm, we will investigate the parameters of this objective across many different genetic lines of broiler breeders throughout different seasons of the year. Further, we will investigate the influence of administering probiotics during simulated commercial rearing of broiler chickens by measuring broiler performance following coccidiosis vaccination. Objective 2b: Coccidiosis vaccination of broiler breeder flocks in commercial settings is often accompanied by the subsequent administration of the anticoccidial drug, amprolium. Since non-attenuated coccidiosis vaccines often cause mild to moderate infection within two weeks following vaccination, such infection has the potential to impact performance and body weight uniformity in vaccinated animals. To offset this potential performance loss, commercial producers frequently administer amprolium to minimize the negative effects of vaccine-induced infection. Currently within the commercial industry, a tremendous degree of variability exists with how to appropriately use amprolium during commercial rearing. In a series of trials over different seasons of rearing, broiler breeder performance and indices of immunity will be measured in several distinct genetic lines of broiler breeders following coccidiosis vaccination with or without subsequent amprolium administration.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Chemical Contaminants
Meat, Poultry, Game