A study in a turkey farm reveals the prevalence of Salmonella Infantis


The three-year study analyzed a total of 1,606 samples

February 4, 2022


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Research on Salmonella on the farms of a turkey producer revealed that Salmonella Infantis was by far the dominant serotype – recorded in more than a quarter of positive results.

The three-year study, which involved taking swabs from protective overshoes at the facilities 14 days before the birds were treated, analyzed a total of 1,606 samples.

In broiler chicken production, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Kentucky are observed quite frequently. “But those were pretty far down our list for this turkey operation,” said Cameron Ellington, who led the work at North Carolina State University. Generally, Enteritidis and Kentucky are more problematic in chickens than in turkeys.

She said researchers also found Salmonella Senftenberg, Albany and Schwarzengrund at the farm.

Salmonella Infantis is part of serogroup C1, and although the group was dominant during the three-year study, it declined towards the end. As to why, that’s something Ellington is still trying to figure out, although the focus is on inter-herd and litter management, as well as other possible factors.

Farm age influencing pathogen prevalence

The age of a farm seems to have an impact on the number of positive samples collected. Problems may be more manageable on new farms where they can be fixed faster, while problems on older farms may not warrant resolution due to a building’s age, she explained.

Untangle other necessary influencing factors

More positive samples were recorded in the second half of the study, where the company was producing more antibiotic-free (NAE) birds. However, the team was unable to determine if this was simply a conventional issue with NAE or a location issue.

For further work, Ellington and his team plan to explore when cases of Salmonella occur in bird life. They plan to go back and see if the diseases could come from when the birds are younger.

The team also hopes to collect more data to determine the importance of geography as an infection factor, as well as the impact of food truck movements, mortality elimination, and disease management. waste.

With reduced products available to treat poultry disease, the focus must be on biosecurity and bird management, Ellington stressed.

“I think there needs to be more emphasis on figuring out what’s going on while the birds are still alive and developing better techniques to deal with that, so that when we send these birds at the factory, their Salmonella levels are lower than what we are sending out now,” she added.

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