Applied and environmental microbiology

In-feed supplementation of trans-cinnamaldehyde reduces layer-chicken egg-borne transmission of Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis.

PMID 25710365


Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis is a major foodborne pathogen in the United States, causing gastroenteritis in humans, primarily through consumption of contaminated eggs. Chickens are the reservoir host of S. Enteritidis. In layer hens, S. Enteritidis colonizes the intestine and migrates to various organs, including the oviduct, leading to egg contamination. This study investigated the efficacy of in-feed supplementation with trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC), a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) plant compound obtained from cinnamon, in reducing S. Enteritidis cecal colonization and systemic spread in layers. Additionally, the effect of TC on S. Enteritidis virulence factors critical for macrophage survival and oviduct colonization was investigated in vitro. The consumer acceptability of eggs was also determined by a triangle test. Supplementation of TC in feed for 66 days at 1 or 1.5% (vol/wt) for 40- or 25-week-old layer chickens decreased the amounts of S. Enteritidis on eggshell and in yolk (P<0.001). Additionally, S. Enteritidis persistence in the cecum, liver, and oviduct in TC-supplemented birds was decreased compared to that in controls (P<0.001). No significant differences in feed intake, body weight, or egg production in birds or in consumer acceptability of eggs were observed (P>0.05). In vitro cell culture assays revealed that TC reduced S. Enteritidis adhesion to and invasion of primary chicken oviduct epithelial cells and reduced S. Enteritidis survival in chicken macrophages (P<0.001). Follow-up gene expression analysis using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) showed that TC downregulated the expression of S. Enteritidis virulence genes critical for chicken oviduct colonization (P<0.001). The results suggest that TC may potentially be used as a feed additive to reduce egg-borne transmission of S. Enteritidis.