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Preventive veterinary medicine

Screening for Salmonella in backyard chickens.


PMID 25899620

Abstract

Salmonellosis is a significant zoonotic disease which has a considerable economic impact on the egg layer industry. There is limited information about the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in backyard chickens. The current study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Salmonella in backyard chickens, and the associated virulence of any serovars identified. Hundred and fifteen pooled samples from 30 backyard flocks in South Australia were screened. Four flocks tested positive for Salmonella spp. The overall Salmonella isolation rate in the current study was 10.4%. The estimated prevalence at individual bird level was 0.02% (95% CI 0.025-0.975). The serovars isolated were Salmonella Agona, Salmonella subsp 2 ser 21:z10:z6 (Wandsbek) and Salmonella Bovismorbificans. All Salmonella isolates tested positive for the prgH, orfL and spiC genes. The Salmonella subsp 2 ser 21:z10:z6 (Wandsbek) had the most antibiotic resistance, being resistant to ampicillin and cephalothin and having intermediate resistance to florphenicol. All of the Salmonella Agona had intermediate resistance to the ampicillin, while the Salmonella Bovismorbificans were susceptible to all antibiotics tested. With the increased interest of keeping backyard chickens, the current study highlights the zoonotic risk from Salmonella spp. associated with home flocks.

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