Identification of heritage chicken breeds with diminished susceptibility to intestinal colonization by multiple antibiotic-resistant Salmonella spp. Completed Grant Report
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Salmonella are commensal bacteria frequently present in the intestinal tracts of commercial poultry. Unfortunately, these microbes will contaminate the flesh of the bird during slaughter, thus creating one of the most important food safety hazards. It is clear that commercial broilers are susceptible to intestinal colonization by Salmonella, but it is unclear if this susceptibility is related to selective breeding for rapid growth and increased feed efficiency. Since non-commercial heritage breeds have genetic profiles diverging from the commercial broiler, we hypothesized that some heritage breeds may exhibit diminished susceptibility to Salmonella colonization of the intestine. To test this hypothesis we experimentally infected 38 heritage breeds and one commercial breed (Cobb 500) with Salmonella enterica and monitored the Salmonella present in each breed.