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Transmission of Salmonella to broilers by contaminated larval and adult lesser mealworms, Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)
- Roche, A.J., Cox, N.A., Richardson, L.J., Buhr, R.J., Cason, J.A., Fairchild, B.D., Hinkle, N.C.
- Poultry science 2009 v.88 no.1 pp. 44
- broiler chickens, poultry diseases, salmonellosis, food pathogens, disease transmission, chicks, insect vectors, Alphitobius diaperinus, adult insects, larvae, dietary exposure, feed contamination, epidemiological studies, Salmonella typhimurium, risk assessment, biomarkers, cecum, bacterial colonization
- The ability of the lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), commonly known as the darkling beetle, to transmit marker Salmonella Typhimurium to day-of-hatch broiler chicks was evaluated, as well as the spread to nonchallenged pen mates. In trial 1, day-of-hatch chicks were orally gavaged with 4 larval or 4 adult beetles that had been exposed to marker Salmonella-inoculated feed for 72 h. In addition, chicks were gavaged with the marker Salmonella in saline solution. These chicks were then placed into pens to serve as challenged broilers. In trial 2, all pens received 2 challenged chicks that were gavaged with larvae or beetles that had been exposed to marker Salmonella-inoculated feed for 24 h and then removed from the inoculated feed for a period of 7 d. At 3 wk of age, cecal samples from the marker Salmonella-challenged broilers and from 5 pen mates in trial 1, or 10 pen mates in trial 2, were evaluated for the presence of the marker Salmonella in their ceca, and at 6 wk of age, all remaining pen mates were sampled. To monitor the presence of the marker Salmonella within pens, stepped-on drag swab litter samples were taken weekly. For the Salmonella-saline pens, 29 to 33% of the broilers that had been challenged and 10 to 55% of the pen mates were positive at 3 wk of age, and only 2 to 6% had positive ceca at 6 wk. For the pens challenged with adult beetles, 0 to 57% of the challenged broilers and 20 to 40% of the pen mates had positive ceca at 3 wk, and 4 to 7% were positive at 6 wk. The pens challenged with larvae had the greatest percentage of marker Salmonella-positive broilers; 25 to 33% of the challenged broilers and 45 to 58% of pen mates were positive at 3 wk, and 11 to 27% were positive at 6 wk. These results demonstrated that ingestion of larval or adult beetles contaminated with a marker Salmonella could be a significant vector for transmission to broilers.