Natural Occurrence of Campylobacter Species, Salmonella Serovars, and Other Bacteria in Unabsorbed Yolks of Market-Age Commercial Broilers
Journal of Applied Poultry Research
In the developing avian embryo, the main energy source is the yolk. Toward the end of the incubation period, the remaining yolk sac is internalized into the abdominal cavity. At hatch, the remaining yolk comprises 20% of the chick's BW and provides the nutrients needed for maintenance. Posthatch, chicks rapidly initiate the transition from yolk dependence to the utilization of exogenous feed. However, at present, it is not known what types of bacteria are found to be associated with unabsorbed
... ed with unabsorbed yolk sacs from market-age broilers. For Experiment 1, one hundred 6-wk-old defeathered broiler carcasses were obtained from a commercial processing facility during each of 3 visits. In the second experiment, one hundred 8-wk-old defeathered broiler carcasses were obtained from a different commercial processing plant on 4 separate occasions. For both experiments, each carcass was aseptically opened and inspected for the presence of an unabsorbed yolk sac. Three to 5 carcasses containing a free-floating yolk sac (within the abdominal cavity) and the yolk stalk (without a yolk sac) and 3 to 5 carcasses containing an attached yolk and yolk stalk from each repetition were randomly selected and analyzed for levels and types of total aerobic bacteria (APC), Enterobacteriaceae (ENT), and for the presence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella serovars. The APC ranged from log 3.3 to >log 6.0, and the ENT ranged from log 2.8 to >log 6.0. Staphylococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. were the predominant organisms in APC, whereas Escherichia coli and Hafnia alvei were found to comprise the ENT. Campylobacter spp. was found in 29% of the yolk stalks, 32% of the attached yolk sacs, and 13% of the free-floating yolk sacs. All Campylobacter isolates were determined to be Campylobacter jejuni, except for 1 attached yolk and yolk stalk, which was Campylobacter coli. Salmonella serovars were found in 26% of the yolk stalks, 48% of the attached yolk sacs, and 23% of the free-floating yolk sacs, and the majority of Salmonella isolates were Salmonella Typhimurium. The significance of these bacterial reservoirs and carcass contamination during processing is yet to be determined.