Comparison of the prevalence of Salmonella infection in layer hens from commercial layer farms with high and low rodent densities.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines, Los Baños College, Laguna, 4031 Philippines.
Avian Diseases (Impact Factor: 1.11). 03/2012; 56(1):29-34. DOI: 10.1637/9704-030711-Reg.1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A comparison on the prevalence of Salmonella infection in layer hens from commercial layer farms with high and low rodent densities was investigated. Out of 280 laying hens sampled from three commercial layer farms with high rodent densities, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis (Salmonella Enteritidis) was isolated from 20 (7.14%) hens and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Infantis (Salmonella Infantis) from three (1.07%) hens. In contrast, layer hens sampled from four commercial layer farms with low rodent densities were negative for any salmonellae. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in the isolation rates of Salmonella from various organs of infected layer hens were also noted. For Salmonella Enteritidis, liver (55.0%) and the oviduct (55.0%) had the highest isolation rates while all Salmonella Infantis isolates were from the oviduct. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of BlnI-digested chromosomal DNA of Salmonella Enteritidis isolated from layer hens and rodents showed similar patterns. PFGE analysis of Salmonella Infantis isolated from layer hens, rodents, eggs, and the environment yielded identical patterns. In this study, the significantly higher prevalence rate (P < 0.05) of Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Infantis in layer hens from high rodent density farms could be attributed to the high rodent population density. The persistent Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Infantis infection inside layer houses may have been amplified by the increasing numbers in the rodent population over the years, which increased the opportunity for environment-rodent-chicken interaction and the transmission of salmonellae to chickens. Monitoring of salmonellae from rodents inside poultry premises is recommended to be an effective additional tool in the assessment of the Salmonella status of layer flocks.

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