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In vitro penetration of Salmonella Enteritidis through yolk membranes of eggs from 6 genetically distinct commercial lines of laying hens

Gast, R.K., Jones, D.R., Anderson, K.E., Guraya, R., Guard, J., Holt, P.S.
Poultry science 2010 v.89 no.8 pp. 1732-1736
food safety, eggs, food pathogens, Salmonella enteritidis, salmonellosis, pathogenesis, egg production, bacterial contamination, bacterial colonization, ova, vitelline membrane, tissue tropism, microbial growth, bioaccumulation, storage temperature, chicken breeds, risk assessment, in vitro studies, laying hens, breed differences, biological resistance
Although deposition of Salmonella Enteritidis inside yolks is less common than deposition in albumen or on the vitelline (yolk) membrane in naturally contaminated eggs laid by infected hens, bacterial migration into the yolk to reach its nutrient-rich contents could lead to extensive multiplication. The present study used an in vitro egg contamination model to assess the ability of small initial numbers of Salmonella Enteritidis to penetrate the vitelline membrane and multiply inside yolks of eggs laid by 6 genetically distinct commercial lines of hens during 24 h of storage at 30°C. Eggs from each line were tested at 4 different hen ages by inoculation of approximately 100 cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis onto the outside of the vitelline membranes of intact yolks in plastic centrifuge tubes and then adding back the albumen into each tube before incubation. Overall, the frequency of penetration of Salmonella Enteritidis into the yolk contents of eggs from individual lines of hens ranged from 30 to 58% and the mean concentration of Salmonella Enteritidis in yolk contents after incubation ranged from 0.8 to 2.0 log₁₀ cfu/mL. For both of these parameters, values for one hen line were significantly higher than for 2 other lines, but no other differences were observed. Hen age did not have a significant effect on egg yolk penetration by Salmonella Enteritidis. These results indicate that opportunities for the migration and growth of small initial numbers of Salmonella Enteritidis to attain more dangerous levels inside contaminated eggs during storage at warm temperatures can sometimes vary between different lines of laying hens.