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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2010 Jun;10(5):481-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2008.0089.

Vectorial competence of larvae and adults of Alphitobius diaperinus in the transmission of Salmonella enteritidis in poultry.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



The ingestion of food products originating from poultry infected with Salmonella spp. is one of the major causes of food poisoning in humans. The control of poultry salmonellosis is particularly difficult since birds are asymptomatic and numerous factors may expedite the maintenance of bacteria in poultry production facilities.


The aim of the study was to determine the vectorial capacity of adults and larvae of Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in the experimental transmission of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 4 to 1-day-old specific pathogen-free White Leghorn chicks.


Adult insects and larvae were starved for 1 day, fed for 24 h or 7 days on sterile ration that had been treated with Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 4, and the levels of bacterial infection were determined. Infected adult insects and larvae were fed to groups of day-old chicks, after which bacteria were recovered from cecum, liver, and spleen samples over a 7-day period.


Infected larvae were more efficient than adult insects in transmitting Salmonella Enteritidis to chicks. Higher concentrations of bacteria could be reisolated from the cecum, liver, and spleen of chicks that had ingested infected larvae compared with those that had ingested infected adults.


The control of A. diaperinus, and particularly of the larvae, represents a critical factor in the reduction of Salmonella spp. in poultry farms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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