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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NOVEL THERAPEUTIC, DIAGNOSTIC, AND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC USE IN POULTRY PRODUCTION

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: Environmental Augmentation with Bacteriophage Prevents Colibacillosis in Broiler Chickens

Authors
item El-Gohary, Fatma -
item Huff, William
item Huff, Geraldine
item Rath, Narayan
item Zhou, Zuoyong -
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Bacteriophages are viruses that kill bacteria. They are plentiful in nature, are safe having no known activity to human or animal cells, and are an attractive alternative to antibiotics. The objectives of this research were to establish an experimental model of colibacillosis induced by indirect exposure to Escherichia coli and to determine if bacteriophage could protect the birds from developing colibacillosis. In Study 1 there were six treatments with two replicate pens of 25 birds. The treatments were control warm brooded; control cold stressed; litter inoculated with E. coli warm brooded; litter inoculated with E. coli cold stressed; seeder birds (5/pen) challenged with E. coli warm brooded; and seeder birds (5/pen) cold stressed. The study was concluded when the birds were 3 weeks of age. Body weights at 1, 2, and 3 wks of age were significantly decreased (p = 0.05) by cold stress, decreased at 1 and 2 wks of age by both the litter and seeder bird treatments compared to the control treatment and by the seeder bird treatment at 3 wks of age. Study 2 consisted of 8 treatments with 2 replicate pens of 20 birds per treatment. The treatments were control warm brooded; control cold stressed; litter inoculated with E. coli cold stressed; and seeder birds (5/pen) challenged with E. coli cold stressed with and without bacteriophage treatment. In the bacteriophage treatments the bacteriophage were sprayed on the litter. The study was concluded at 3 weeks of age. Body weights at 1 wk of age were significantly (p = 0.05) decreased from the control treatment by the seeder bird treatment, and were significantly (p = 0.05) higher in all the bacteriophage treatments compared to their matched untreated treatments, except in the control cold stressed treatment. Mortality was significantly (p = 0.05) decreased by bacteriophage in the litter challenged treatment. These data suggest that augmentation of the environment with bacteriophage is a practical and efficacious way to prevent colibacillosis in broiler chickens.

Technical Abstract: Bacteriophages are viruses that kill bacteria. They are plentiful in nature, are safe having no known activity to human or animal cells, and are an attractive alternative to antibiotics. The objectives of this research were to establish an experimental model of colibacillosis induced by indirect exposure to Escherichia coli and to determine if bacteriophage could protect the birds from developing colibacillosis. In Study 1 there were six treatments with two replicate pens of 25 birds. The treatments were control warm brooded; control cold stressed; litter inoculated with E. coli warm brooded; litter inoculated with E. coli cold stressed; seeder birds (5/pen) challenged with E. coli warm brooded; and seeder birds (5/pen) cold stressed. The study was concluded when the birds were 3 weeks of age. Body weights at 1, 2, and 3 wks of age were significantly decreased (p = 0.05) by cold stress, decreased at 1 and 2 wks of age by both the litter and seeder bird treatments compared to the control treatment and by the seeder bird treatment at 3 wks of age. Study 2 consisted of 8 treatments with 2 replicate pens of 20 birds per treatment. The treatments were control warm brooded; control cold stressed; litter inoculated with E. coli cold stressed; and seeder birds (5/pen) challenged with E. coli cold stressed with and without bacteriophage treatment. In the bacteriophage treatments the bacteriophage were sprayed on the litter. The study was concluded at 3 weeks of age. Body weights at 1 wk of age were significantly (p = 0.05) decreased from the control treatment by the seeder bird treatment, and were significantly (p = 0.05) higher in all the bacteriophage treatments compared to their matched untreated treatments, except in the control cold stressed treatment. Mortality was significantly (p = 0.05) decreased by bacteriophage in the litter challenged treatment. These data suggest that augmentation of the environment with bacteriophage is a practical and efficacious way to prevent colibacillosis in broiler chickens.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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