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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recovery of Campylobacter Jejuni in Feces, Ceca, and Semen of Broiler Breeder Roosters Following Three Routes of Inoculation

Authors
item Buhr, Richard
item Musgrove, Michael
item Cox, Nelson
item Wilson, J. - UGA
item Bourassa, D. - UGA
item Richardson, Larry

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 26, 2005
Publication Date: December 1, 2005
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Musgrove, M.T., Cox Jr, N.A., Wilson, J.L., Bourassa, D.V., Richardson, L.J. 2005. Recovery of campylobacter jejuni in feces, ceca, and semen of broiler breeder roosters following three routes of inoculation. Avian Diseases. 49(4):577-581.

Interpretive Summary: The question was raised, are roosters with Campylobacter positive semen a source of contamination of the breeder hen, and which parts of the roosters reproductive tract are positive? This report further evaluated with refined sample collection techniques the Campylobacter status of the male reproductive system (ductus deferens and testis). Individually caged roosters, confirmed to be negative for Campylobacter, were challenged with a marker strain of Campylobacter by three routes. Five days post-inoculation individual feces and semen samples were again collected and cultured for Campylobacter. Seven days post-inoculation, roosters were killed and the abdomen was opened to expose the abdominal viscera, and one cecum (intestine) was collected. Each testis and ductus deferens was lifted out of the abdominal cavity and the samples were cultured for Campylobacter. Campylobacter was recovered after challenge at similar prevalence from feces in 82% of samples, from 85% of semen samples, and from 88% of cecum (intestine) samples. Campylobacter was not isolated from any testis samples but was detected following enrichment for 9% of ductus deferens samples. Roosters challenged with Campylobacter were all readily colonized in the ceca and produced Campylobacter positive semen and feces. The low prevalence of recovery of Campylobacter from the ductus deferens and failure to recover from any testis sample, suggests that semen may become Campylobacter positive while traversing the cloaca. The production of Campylobacter positive semen could provide a route for the transmission of Campylobacter from the rooster to the hen, and then through the egg from the hen to the chick..

Technical Abstract: We reported the recovery of Campylobacter (naturally colonized) from the ductus deferens of 5 / 101 caged roosters (5%) at 65 wk-of-age, and four of those five positive roosters had previously produced Campylobacter positive semen samples. Those results prompted further evaluation to determine if inoculation route affected prevalence or level of Campylobacter contamination of semen, the digestive tract, or reproductive organs. Individually caged roosters confirmed to be feces and semen negative for Campylobacter, were challenged with a marker strain of Campylobacter jejuni either orally using 1.0 ml of suspension, by dropping 0.1 ml of suspension on the everted phallus immediately after semen collection, or by dip coating a 1-cm diameter ultrasound surgical probe in the suspension and then inserting the probe into the colon. Five days post-inoculation individual feces and semen samples were again collected and cultured for Campylobacter. Seven days post-inoculation, roosters were killed, the abdomen opened to expose the viscera, and one cecum was aseptically collected. Each testis was tied at the hilus, and then lifted out of the abdominal cavity while cutting loose the ductus deferens from the overlying peritoneum. The samples were then suspended 1:3 (weight / volume) in Bolton enrichment broth for the culture of Campylobacter. Campylobacter was recovered at similar prevalence after challenge from feces in 82% of samples (log10 4.1 CFU / g sample), 85% of semen samples (log10 2.9 CFU / ml) and 88% of cecal samples (log10 5.8 CFU / g sample). Campylobacter was not isolated from any testis samples but was detected following enrichment from 9% (3 / 33) of ductus deferens samples. Roosters challenged with Campylobacter orally, on the phallus, or by insertion of a Campylobacter-dip coated ultrasound probe were all readily colonized in the ceca and produced Campylobacter positive semen and feces, on Day 5 after challenge. The low prevalence of recovery of Campylobacter from the ductus deferens and failure to recover from any testis sample, suggests that semen may become Campylobacter positive while traversing the cloaca upon the everted phallus. The production of Campylobacter positive semen could provide a route in addition to oral-fecal for the horizontal transmission of Campylobacter from the rooster to the reproductive tract of the hen.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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