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Investigation of Clostridium botulinum in commercial poultry farms in France between 2011 and 2013

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Between 2011 and 2013, 17 poultry botulism outbreaks were investigated in France. All cases were associated with Clostridium botulinum type C–D. Presence of C. botulinum was studied in seven areas: poultry house, changing room, ventilation system, surroundings, animal reservoirs, water, and feed. Swabs, litter, soil, darkling beetles, rodents and wild bird droppings, feed and water samples were collected. The presence of C. botulinum type C–D in the environment of affected flocks was detected in 39.5% of the 185 samples analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. C. botulinum type C–D was reported in each area. Four areas were more frequently contaminated, being found positive in more than one-half of farms: darkling beetles (9/11), poultry house (14/17), water (13/16) and surroundings (11/16). After cleaning and disinfection, the ventilation system and/or the soil (in the houses and the surroundings) returned positive results in four out of eight poultry farms. Consequently, darkling beetles, the drinking water, the ventilation system and the soil in the surroundings and the houses were identified as the main critical contaminated areas to consider in poultry farms to prevent recurrence of botulism outbreaks.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Anses – UEB, Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory, Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit, Ploufragan, France 2: Anses, Food Safety Laboratory, Maisons Alfort, France 3: Anses – UEB, Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory, Hygiene and Quality of Poultry and Pig Products Unit, Ploufragan, France 4: Analysis and Development Laboratory 22 – LDA22/Labocea, Ploufragan, France

Publication date: September 3, 2014

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