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Journal Article

The Role of Litter Beetles as Potential Reservoir for Salmonella enterica and Thermophilic Campylobacter spp. between Broiler Flocks

M. N. Skov, A. G. Spencer, B. Hald, L. Petersen, B. Nauerby, B. Carstensen and M. Madsen
Avian Diseases
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 2004), pp. 9-18
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1593432
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Role of Litter Beetles as Potential Reservoir for Salmonella enterica and Thermophilic Campylobacter spp. between Broiler Flocks
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Abstract

We evaluated the role of beetles infesting broiler chicken rearing facilities as potential reservoirs for Salmonella enterica infections between successive broiler flocks. In addition, their role as potential reservoirs for thermophilic Campylobacter spp. was also investigated. Fourteen broiler houses located at 11 different farms were included in the study. The houses were nonrandomly selected on the basis of their salmonella status; nine were persistently contaminated with salmonella whereas five were salmonella negative. For each broiler house, two consecutive broiler flocks (i.e., 28 broiler flocks in all) as well as beetles collected during both rotations of production and in the empty period (after cleaning and disinfection) between these flocks were monitored for the presence of salmonella. Examinations for the presence of campylobacter in the same sample materials were also performed. Beetles sampled during production were positive for salmonella or campylobacter or both. Furthermore, in one house, the occurrence of Salmonella indiana in two consecutive broiler flocks coincided with the presence of S. indiana-contaminated beetles in the empty period between the flocks. The genotype of the identified S. indiana was in all cases identical when analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. However, our results also suggest that salmonella from beetles may not always be transmitted to the chickens and that beetles living in contaminated houses can remain free of infection. All cases of campylobacter-positive beetle samples were detected in connection with a positive chicken flock; in no case was campylobacter isolated from beetles taken from the empty period between rotations. Four beetle species were identified during this study. Alphitobius diaperinus was found in all houses and was relatively abundant in most. Typhaea stercorea and Ahasverus advena were found in eight and nine houses, respectively, and were abundant in most of these. Carcinops pumilio was found in small numbers in eight houses. No other insect species was identified. These investigations have shown that beetles in broiler houses infrequently are positive for salmonella. However, transmission of S. indiana between two consecutive broiler flocks can coincide with the presence of salmonella-contaminated beetles in the empty period, indicating that the beetles were the reservoir of S. indiana between the two flocks. Concerning campylobacter, the results suggest that beetles do not play a significant role as a reservoir of campylobacter from one rotation to the next. /// Se evaluó el papel del escarabajo de la cama en instalaciones de pollo de engorde infectadas como reservorio potencial de infecciones por Salmonella enterica y Campylobacter spp entre lotes sucesivos. Se incluyeron 14 galpones de pollo de engorde localizados en 11 granjas diferentes. De los 14 galpones seleccionados sin tener en cuenta su estatus de Salmonella, 9 se encontraron constantemente contaminados y 9 fueron negativos a Salmonella. Se evaluó la presencia de Salmonella y de Campylobacter en dos lotes sucesivos de pollo de engorde por galpón (para un total de 28 lotes) y en escarabajos de la cama obtenidos durante los dos períodos de producción y el período de descanso entre ellos (posterior a la limpieza y la desinfección). Se observó la presencia de Salmonella y Campylobacter en los escarabajos de la cama obtenidos durante los períodos de producción. En uno de los galpones, la presencia de Salmonella indiana en dos lotes consecutivos coincidió con la presencia de escarabajos de la cama contaminados con S. indiana durante el período de descanso entre los dos lotes. El genotipo de la S. indiana fue idéntico en todos los casos al ser analizado mediante la electroforesis de pulso. Sin embargo, nuestros resultados sugieren que la Salmonella presente en los escarabajos de la cama no siempre puede ser transmitida a los pollos y que los escarabajos de la cama presentes en galpones contaminados pueden permanecer libres de la infección. La totalidad de los casos positivos a Campylobacter detectados en los escarabajos de la cama coincidieron con la presencia de Campylobacter en los lotes de pollo de engorde, sin embargo, no se aisló Campylobacter a partir de escarabajos de la cama obtenidos durante el período de descanso entre los dos ciclos de producción. Se identificaron cuatro especies de escarabajos de la cama. Se encontraron cantidades relativamente abundantes de Alphitobius diaperinus en todos los galpones. Se encontró Typhaea stercorea y Ahasverus advena en 8 y en 9 de los 14 galpones, respectivamente, siendo abundantes en la mayoría de ellos. Se encontraron cantidades reducidas de Carcinops pumilio en 8 galpones. No se identificó ninguna otra especie. Se demuestra que los escarabajos de la cama en los galpones de pollo de engorde son con frecuencia negativos a la Salmonella. Sin embargo, la transmisión de la S. indiana entre dos lotes consecutivos de pollo de engorde puede coincidir con la presencia de escarabajos de la cama contaminados con Salmonella durante el período de descanso, sirviendo como reservorio de la S. indiana entre lotes de producción. Los resultados igualmente sugieren que los escarabajos de la cama no juegan un papel significativo como reservorios de Campylobacter en períodos de producción consecutivos.

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