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Reducing Campylobacter Infection in Broiler Chickens

25 May 2013

The percentage of Campylobacter-positive broiler flocks decreased from more than 40 per cent to a little over 10 per cent when fly-screens were fitted to the poultry houses, according to new research from Denmark.

Studies have suggested that flies play a linking role in the epidemiology of Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens and that fly screens can reduce the prevalence of Campylobacter spp, according to a recent paper in the journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases.

From the Technical University of Denmark in Aarhus, Simon Bahrndorff and co-authors report their examination of the year-round and long-term effects of fly screens in 10 broiler chicken houses (99 flocks) in Denmark.

Prevalence of Campylobacter spp.–positive flocks was significantly reduced, from 41.4 per cent during 2003–2005 (before fly screens) to 10.3 per cent in 2006–2009 (with fly screens). In fly screen houses, Campylobacter spp. prevalence did not peak during the summer.

Nationally, the prevalence of Campylobacter spp.–positive flocks in Denmark could have been reduced by an estimated 77 per cent during summer if fly screens had been part of biosecurity practices, the researchers estimate.

These results imply that fly screens might help reduce prevalence of campylobacteriosis among humans, which is closely linked to Campylobacter spp. prevalence among broiler chicken flocks.


Bahrndorff S., L. Rangstrup-Christensen, S. Nordentoft and B. Hald. 2013. Foodborne disease prevention and broiler chickens with reduced Campylobacter infection. Emerg. Infect. Dis. [Internet]. 2013 Mar [date cited]. DOI: 10.3201/eid1903.111593

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March 2013

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