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Avian Dis. 2000 Jul-Sep;44(3):715-20.

Determination of the incidence of Salmonella spp., Campylobacter jejuni, and Clostridium perfringens in wild birds near broiler chicken houses by sampling intestinal droppings.

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Poultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, R. B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, ARS, USDA, Athens, GA 30604, USA.


Several methods were evaluated for collecting fecal and intestinal samples from wild birds found near broiler chicken houses. A few intestinal samples and cloacal swabs were obtained from European starlings and house sparrows. Most of the samples collected consisted of wild bird droppings found on or near the houses. Samples were collected from each of four farms of a broiler integrator during a grow-out cycle: a cycle in the summer for farm A, fall for farm B, and spring, summer, fall, and winter for farms C and D. Of the 25 wild bird intestinal and fecal samples collected from a broiler house on farm A during a grow-out cycle in July-August 1997, 24% were positive for Salmonella spp., 4% for Campylobacter jejuni, and 28% for Clostridium perfringens. Of the nine fecal samples collected from broiler house B in a grow-out cycle in September-November 1997, 33% were positive for Salmonella spp., 11% for C. jejuni, and 22% for C. perfringens. For farms C and D, of the 23 samples collected in March-April 1998, 0 were positive for Salmonella spp., 11% for C. jejuni, and 52% for C. perfringens; of 27 samples collected in June-July 1998, 4% were positive for Salmonella spp., 0 for C. jejuni, and 13% for C. perfringens; of 24 samples collected in August-October 1998, 14% were positive for Salmonella spp., 5% for C. jejuni, and 4% for C. perfringens; of 14 samples collected December 1998-January 1999, 0 were positive for Salmonella, 50% for C. jejuni, and 14% for C. perfringens. The incidence of these bacterial enteropathogens in wild birds near the broiler chicken houses suggests that wild birds that gain entry to poultry grow-out houses have the potential to transmit these pathogens to poultry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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