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Early Salmonella Challenge Time and Reduction in Chick Cecal Colonization Following Treatment with a Characterized Competitive Exclusion Culture

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Broiler chicks were treated by oral gavage on the day of hatch with a continuous-flow competitive exclusion culture (PREEMPT). At 4 h, 1 day, or 2 days posttreatment, chicks were challenged by oral gavage with 102 or 104 Salmonella CFU to determine the effects of challenge time on Salmonella cecal colonization. Cecal propionic acid concentrations in two trials increased (P ≤ 0.001) within 1 day posttreatment in chicks given PREEMPT, and the increases were indicative of the establishment of the PREEMPT bacteria. Salmonella cecal populations decreased (P ≤ 0.001) on average 6 log10 units in these two trials in chicks challenged 4 h posttreatment with 104 Salmonella CFU. In a third trial propionic acid did not increase significantly until 2 days after treatment, and there was no decrease in Salmonella colonization when chicks were challenged at 4 h after treatment. However, there were decreases in that same trial when chicks were challenged at 1 and 2 days after treatment. The early establishment of PREEMPT followed by challenges with 102 and 104 Salmonella CFU resulted in 3% and 3%, respectively, of the ceca testing Salmonella-culture-positive, compared to 28% and 95%, respectively, culture-positive ceca in untreated chicks. The results from this study indicated that in most instances young broiler chicks can be protected against cecal colonization when challenged with 102 and 104 Salmonella CFU as early as 4 h posttreatment on the day of hatch with the PREEMPT bacteria.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Food Animal Protection Research Laboratory, 2881 F&B Road, College Station, Texas 77845, USA 2: Milk Specialties Company, BioScience Division, P.O. Box 278, Dundee, Illinois 60118, USA

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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