Research: Salmonella spp investigation in transport boxes of day-old birds

May 11 2018

Avian salmonellosis has been present in poultry flocks in some degree. Usually, traditional diseases, such as fowl typhoid and pullorum disease, are under control (14), although they have been seen in some countries in South and Central America, East European, Asia, Africa and even in Occidental Europe (1,5). However, paratyphoid salmonellosis infections still are a great task to face. The infection of birds may provoke clinical disease and/or the birds become carriers of food-borne salmonellosis agents. Outbreaks of food-borne salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Enteritidis were noticed in several parts of the world in the last two decades associated with food prepared with poultry products (1, 13). Salmonella Enteritidis may have reached the farms by vertical transmission (10, 12, 13). In the hatchery, cross-contamination among contaminated and non-contaminated eggs may occur (4) and can be found in samples collected inside the hatchery and inside transport boxes (6). In Brazil, the outbreaks provoked by Salmonella Enteritidis appeared after the outbreaks in Europe, USA and Japan (9, 17), probably because grand-parent flocks came from the areas where salmonellosis outbreak started. Nevertheless, there is no literature available to show the Salmonella status in day-old birds in Brazil. These information would be useful to clarify the importance of the vertical route of introduction of Salmonella to chicken flocks and also to show the importance of control programs. Thus, this work was carried out to investigate the presence of Salmonella in day-old birds, surveying the presence of the pathogen in the transport boxes. This approach permits the achievement of results without stressing the birds.

The presence of Salmonella was investigated in transport boxes of newly hatched chicks in the moment they were received in the farms. 1,611 boxes, delivered to 15 farms (one broiler grand-parent farm, four broiler parent farms, two commercial broiler chick farms and seven laying hens farms) were tested. A total of 19 visits to these farms were done, and Salmonella was detected in ten of these visits. Salmonella Heidelberg was detected in boxes in five farms. S. Heidelberg and S. Mbandaka were simultaneously detected in one broiler breeder farm. Salmonella Enteritidis alone, S. Enteritidis and S. Mbandaka and S. Cerro alone were detected in three, one and one laying hens farms, respectively.