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Avian Pathol. 2007 Jun;36(3):187-97.

A longitudinal study of environmental Salmonella contamination in caged and free-range layer flocks.

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  • 1Department of Food and Environmental Safety, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Surrey, KT, UK.


The environmental contamination by salmonella was examined over a 12-month period in 74 commercial layer flocks from eight farms in the UK, which previously had been identified as being contaminated with salmonella. Samples of faeces, dust, litter, egg belt spillage and wildlife vectors were taken, plus swabs of cages, feeders, drinkers, floors, egg belts and boots. Some sampling was performed in each month of the year. Numerous serovars were detected but Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis was the only persistent serotype found among single-age flocks. There was a significant correlation between qualitative environmental samples and semi-quantitative faeces samples. The level of environmental contamination increased significantly over time. There were significant temperature and seasonal effects upon contamination. Wildlife vectors proved to be sensitive samples for the detection of salmonella. The efficacy of cleaning and disinfection upon residual salmonella contamination, and upon subsequent flock contamination, was highly variable between and within premises. The variability between detected prevalences over time and between flocks indicates a need for regular, sensitive monitoring of flocks for salmonella to permit targeting of control measures aimed at eliminating contamination of the layer environment by salmonella. There is substantial scope for improvement of cleaning and disinfection procedures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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