<p>The purpose of the Poultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit is to further reduce or eliminate bacterial pathogen contamination in poultry operations and the following objectives are to:</p><p>1) Assess the effectiveness and further development of bacteriocins (anti-bacterial peptides) and bacteriophage by in vitro bacterial growth inhibition in culture and in vivo experimentation via challenge in chickens;</p><p> 2) Reduce bacterial populations in chicken litter by monitoring poultry houses for bacterial pathogens carried by chickens during use of intervention technologies. Decontamination techniques, such as in-house foam applied disinfectants will be examined for reduction of Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Clostridium perfringens and Listeria monocytogenes; and</p><p> 3) Improve cultural methods for Campylobacter spp. in poultry in further support of FSIS needs, including the improvement of recovery. Use microarray expression analysis under various cultural conditions to identify nutrients necessary for optimal growth, colonization and culture of Campylobacter spp.</p>
New antimicrobial agents will be developed that are usable by the poultry farmer on a large scale to reduce Campylobacter spp. and salmonellae by applying in feed at the appropriate times before slaughter. Also, new means for the drug-free production sector to control clostridial disease without relying on antibiotics are the major expected approaches of Objective 1. Providing a science based source of data to better dispose of spent poultry litter without major energy or financial inputs is the approach forObjective 2. A more reliable and quantitative method to routinely culture Campylobacter spp. from food and environmental samples is the approach of Objective 3.