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Associations between animal welfare indicators and Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens under commercial settings: A case study

Alpigiani, Irene and Cortinas Abrahantes, Josè and Michel, Virginie and Huneau-Salaün, Adeline and Chemaly, Marianne and Keeling, Linda Jane and Gervelmeyer, Andrea and Baccia, Cristina and Brindania, Franco and Bonardia, Silvia and Berthe, Franck (2017). Associations between animal welfare indicators and Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens under commercial settings: A case study. Preventive veterinary medicine. 147, 186-193
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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.09.005

Abstract

Few studies have previously investigated how poor animal welfare might be associated with infection of zoonotic pathogens in humans. This paper assesses the predictive value of the presence of Campylobacter spp. in broiler chicken flocks when animal-based measures related to footpad dermatitis, hock burns, body lesions and arthritis are identified under commercial conditions (high density). The study population included 32 flocks analysed on farm and at slaughter, slaughtered between April and August 2008 in six different slaughter plants in Brittany, France. Welfare and health indicators are those indicated by the European legislation and sampling was carried out in the framework of the European baseline survey on the prevalence of Campylobacter in broiler chicken. Caecal contents, sampled both on farm and at slaughter, and carcass skin samples from the neck and breast at slaughter, were investigated for the presence of Campylobacter spp. Logistic models/classification trees were used to estimate the probability of the presence (or absence) of a specific foodbome pathogen in a flock based on specific animal-based measures (or combinations of measures) in order to study the potential relationship between welfare indicators and foodbome pathogen prevalence/incidence levels. On farm, flocks with more than 25% animals with severe lesions on between 25 and 50% of the footpad are predicted to be Campylobacter-positive whereas flocks where less than 13 individuals have arthritis are predicted to be Campylobacter-negative. The error rate on farm and at slaughter was 10 and 4% respectively indicating good predicting abilities. A poor welfare environment may result in stress, which reduces chicken immunocompetence making them more susceptible to Campylobacter spp. An infection with Campylobacter spp may lead to impaired defence and susceptibility to other pathogens which may result in greater intestinal excretion. Poor welfare and high growing rate lead to digestive troubles that lead to litter humidity. Litter humidity that, among other things, causes footpad dermatitis may also influence the horizontal transmission of the Campylobacter spp. infection due to the normal coprophagic behaviour of poultry. Reducing welfare problems by a better management of rearing conditions would not only improve broiler welfare, but it would also decrease the risks of Campylobacter contamination, of carcass condemnations and of economic loss for the poultry industry.

Authors/Creators:Alpigiani, Irene and Cortinas Abrahantes, Josè and Michel, Virginie and Huneau-Salaün, Adeline and Chemaly, Marianne and Keeling, Linda Jane and Gervelmeyer, Andrea and Baccia, Cristina and Brindania, Franco and Bonardia, Silvia and Berthe, Franck
Title:Associations between animal welfare indicators and Campylobacter spp. in broiler chickens under commercial settings: A case study
Series/Journal:Preventive veterinary medicine (0167-5877)
Year of publishing :2017
Volume:147
Page range:186-193
Number of Pages:8
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-5877
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:animal welfare, zoonoses, chickens, Campylobacter
Keywords:Chicken meat, Animal-based measures, Campylobacter spp, Public health, Animal welfare, Contact dermatitis, Gross meat inspection
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4911
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4911
ID Code:15492
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Jun 2018 12:08
Metadata Last Modified:15 Sep 2018 23:15

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