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An Investigation of Water Treatment as an Intervention to Reduce Campylobacter on the Poultry Farm

Institutions
Scottish Agricultural College
Avian Science Research Centre
Start date
2008
End date
2009
Objective
The 12 month study investigated current and potential methods for water treatment and provide costed recommendations. A literature review identified potential water treatments which will be investigated in the longitudinal study. An important part of the approach is an economic assessment of promising interventions.
More information
Background:
Evidence from the Agency funded project B15004 suggested an association between sanitisation of watering systems in commercially reared poultry flocks and a reduction in the prevalence of campylobacter. Campylobacter contamination may occur through contaminated water coming onto the farm or by on-farm contamination of the water or water delivery system e.g. if the flock became positive and contaminated dust entered the water header tank. Private water supplies are at significantly greater risk of being associated with enteric pathogens such as campylobacter.

Poultry growers are aware of the importance of cleaning between crops to prevent the build up of pathogens. However, the ease with which drinker lines can be sanitised is questionable, particularly when the lines have been in use for some years and there has been an opportunity for biofilms to build up.

Biofilms have an important role in protecting bacteria in aquatic environments and have been shown to significantly improve the ability of campylobacter to survive environmental stresses, such as desiccation, antimicrobials etc. The ability of campylobacter to form biofilms was first reported in 2006.

Research Approach:
The 12 month study will investigate current and potential methods for water treatment and provide costed recommendations. A literature review will identify potential water treatments which will be investigated in the longitudinal study. An important part of the approach is an economic assessment of promising interventions.

The final report, "An Investigation of Water Treatment as an Intervention to Reduce Campylobacter on the Poultry Farm" is available at Foodbase, an open access repository of the FSA.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
B15024
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Campylobacter
Prevention and Control