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Avian Dis. 1990 Jul-Sep;34(3):617-25.

Effect of dietary lactose on cecal pH, bacteriostatic volatile fatty acids, and Salmonella typhimurium colonization of broiler chicks.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Toxicology and Entomology Research Laboratory, College Station, Texas 77840.


One-day-old broiler chicks were inoculated with volatile fatty acid producing cecal flora from adult chickens. The chicks were divided into four groups and provided 1) no lactose, 2) 2.5% lactose in water, 3) 5% lactose in feed, or 4) 10% lactose in feed, until 10 days of age. All groups were challenged at 3 days of age with 10(6) or 10(8) S. typhimurium. At 10 days, the number of Salmonella in the ceca of the chicks challenged with 10(6) Salmonella was significantly decreased (P less than 0.01) in the groups provided lactose as compared with the controls. A significant decrease (P less than 0.01) in Salmonella numbers occurred in the chicks challenged with 10(8) Salmonella and provided 10% lactose. Providing 2.5% lactose or 5% lactose failed to inhibit Salmonella growth in chicks challenged with 10(8) Salmonella. The pH of the ceca of the groups provided lactose decreased significantly (P less than 0.05) and was accompanied by significant increases (P less than 0.01) in the concentrations of bacteriostatic acetic and propionic acids. Results showed that providing dietary lactose to broiler chicks and inoculation with normal cecal flora decreased cecal pH, increased the concentrations of bacteriostatic volatile fatty acids, and inhibited Salmonella colonization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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