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Influence of Relative Humidity on Transmission of Campylobacter jejuni in Broiler Chickens

by 5m Editor
17 July 2006, at 12:00am

By J. E. Line, USDA's ARS and published by Poultry Science - Horizontal transmission of Campylobacter jejuni among broiler chickens has been documented; however, the influence of RH on transmission rates is an important factor that has not been extensively studied.

Influence of Relative Humidity on Transmission of Campylobacter jejuni in Broiler Chickens - By J. E. Line, USDA's ARS and published by Poultry Science - Horizontal transmission of Campylobacter jejuni among broiler chickens has been documented; however, the influence of RH on transmission rates is an important factor that has not been extensively studied.

Abstract

The purpose of our experiments was to determine the rate of C. jejuni colonization among groups of broilers raised in microbiological isolation under high (approximately 80%) and low (approximately 30%) RH conditions.

Day-of-hatch chicks (n = 100 per group) were placed on wood shavings in high and low humidity-controlled pens and challenged with C. jejuni by introducing 2 seeder birds orally inoculated with C. jejuni into each group.

The rate of colonization was monitored by analyzing ceca from 10 chicks from each group at d 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. After 3 wk, the remaining chickens were removed, and 100 newly hatched chicks were placed on the contaminated litter. A second trial was conducted with the litter as the only inoculum source.

Trials were repeated in this manner with the time between removing birds and placing newly hatched chicks on the litter extended to 6 h, 24 h, and 1 wk. Significant differences in Campylobacter colonization rates were observed between chickens raised under the high and low RH conditions. A delay in colonization was observed in birds raised under the low RH conditions, which increased with the increased time between removal of birds and placement of newly hatched chicks.

These experiments demonstrate the importance of humidity in the transmission of Campylobacter from litter, and they could lead to practical applications to help reduce Campylobacter colonization in broilers.

The study is published in Poultry Science - Volume 85, July 2006, Number 7

Source: Poultry Science - July 2006