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Detecting Salmonella in Poultry

26 September 2014

Conventional methods as well as PCR were suitable for detection of Salmonella, according to a new study from the Free University of Berlin in Germany. Researchers also found differences between the sampling methods.

A study at the Free University of Berlin published in the Journal of Applied Poultry Research has compared two testing methods for Salmonella in poultry.

According to first-named author, Nina Langkabel, and colleagues, day-old specific-pathogen-free chicks were infected via crop installation with a Salmonella test strain. The strain was Salmonella Enterititis phage type 4; Bundesintitut für gesundheitlichen Verbraucherschutz und Veterinärmedizin-No. 01–00554 and it was nalidixic acid-resistant.

Samples were collected at seven sample occasions to re-detect the agent from the animals and the environment.

Using conventional techniques and PCR, the test strain was successively detected in the animals as well as in the environment of the flocks. PCR was more effective than the conventional method, the researchers found.

First positive findings were obtained from cloacal swabs at the third sampling occasion. Most frequently Salmonella was obtained from ceca and from spleen samples, indicating that these two organs are most suitable for Salmonella testing.

Cloacal swabs were positive earlier; however, caecal and spleen samples were positive more consistently, concluded Langkabel and colleagues. They added that conventional methods as well as PCR are suitable for detection of Salmonella.


Langkabel N., A. Klose, H. Irsigler, D. Jaeger, L. Bräutigam, H.M. Hafez and R. Fries. 2014. Comparison of methods for the detection of Salmonella in poultry. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 23 (3):403-408. doi: 10.3382/japr.2013-00885

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September 2014

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