idea #08

Controlling Salmonella,
beyond biosecurity

A frequent cause of zoonoses worldwide, poultry meat and egg consumption are one of the main reasons for Salmonellosis in humans and cause thousands of deaths annually. Commonly present in the environment and able to survive under harsh conditions, Salmonella is difficult to eradicate. To control the risk of Salmonella contamination, the first step is monitoring and identifying its presence in the environment. Once identified, most producers apply a strategy focusing on minimizing the specific risks. However, enabling the birds to kill Salmonella bacteria and become more resistant to salmonella contamination can further reduce the threat.

Beyond biosecurity

Biosecurity is the main approach to controlling salmonellosis and any oth­er disease in poultry production. Still, Salmonella is an issue in many com­panies and countries. Therefore, some countries are vaccinating against cer­tain pathogenic strains. However, vac­cinations do not cover all types of Sal­monella and are also not 100%. So, an additional step is necessary, one with an additional emphasis on the animal. A product that specifically attacks Sal­monella bacteria in the intestinal tract of the animal and at the same time strengthens the animal to be resistant to Salmonella colonization.


Begin in the gizzard

To achieve this, the product must work quickly when it reaches the gastrointes­tinal intestinal tract (GIT); limiting the bacteria’s time to multiply and colonize. The first portion of the GIT is a low-pH environment. Therefore, since Salmo­nella can survive for a short period in a low pH environment, a solution needs to have a strong antibacterial effect at a low pH. Medium-chain fatty acids C6 to C10 have strong antibacterial effects against Salmonella in an acidic environ­ment like the gizzard.

Intestinal protection

Some bacteria will always survive, so an additional defense is needed to pre­vent the colonization of the intestine and the invasion of the systemic sys­tem. Unfortunately, some short-chain fatty acids and C10 and C12 aid in the invasion of Salmonella into epithelial cells. However, C6 to C9 counteract this invasiveness significantly and aid in the strategy to kill the bacteria, limit in­vasiveness, and reduce the risk of Sal­monella contamination. Additionally, C6 to C9 are known to contribute to an im­proved vaccination immune response.

Managing risk

Although implementing biosecurity measures is crucial in decreasing Sal­monella contamination, focusing on the animal can result in a significant leap forward in food safety. By utilizing mol­ecules that have particular antibacteri­al activity against Salmonella bacteria, the bacteria’s ability to colonize is chal­lenged, reducing the possibility of inva­sion, and concurrently enhancing the immune response to vaccinations while optimizing their synergistic effects. Achieving these objectives through an affordable product could revolutionize food safety.

Contact your agrimprove expert

Jan Vervloesem
Global lead poultry

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