Bacteriophage therapy to reduce colonization of Campylobacter jejuni in Broiler Chickens
Did you know that eating contaminated poultry meat is one of the most common ways to become infected with campylobacteriosis, a gastrointestinal disease?
This infection is mainly caused by Campylobacter jejuni and is unfortunately common in broiler chickens and difficult to prevent. Fortunately, there may be an alternative solution to controlling Campylobacter in poultry – phage therapy.
In a recent study, two field-isolated bacteriophages were tested for their efficacy against experimental infections with an antibiotic-resistant strain of C. jejuni.
The authors’ results demonstrated that phage therapy can reduce Campylobacter loads in poultry prior to slaughter and that this is also associated with an antimicrobial resistance pattern. While more research is needed, phage therapy offers hope for better control of this common foodborne disease.
The authors Daniela D’Angelantonio, Silvia Scattolini, Arianna Boni, Diana Neri, Gabriella Di Serafino, Philippa Connerton, Ian Connerton, Francesco Pomilio, Elisabetta Di Giannatale, Giacomo Migliorati, and Giuseppe Aprea published these findings in their article Bacteriophage Therapy to Reduce Colonization of Campylobacter jejuni in Broiler Chickens before Slaughter, dated 22 July 2021.
- Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported gastrointestinal disease in humans, and Campybacter jejuni is the main cause of infection.
- Phage therapy represents an alternative strategy to control Campylobacter in poultry.
- The efficacy of two field-isolated bacteriophages against experimental infections with an anti-microbial resistant (AMR) strain was assessed.
- A two-step phage application was tested according to a specific combination between chickens’ rearing time and multiplicities of infection (MOI), in order to reduce the load at slaughtering and limit mutant development.
- Reductions were statistically significant in both group B (1 log10 cfu/gr) and group C (2 log10 cfu/gr), compared to the control group.
Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported gastrointestinal disease in humans.
Campybacter jejuni is the main cause of the infection, and bacterial colonization in broiler chickens is widespread and difficult to prevent, leading to high risk of occurrence in broiler meat.
Phage therapy represents an alternative strategy to control Campylobacter in poultry.
The aim of this work was to assess the efficacy of two field-isolated bacteriophages against experimental infections with an anti-microbial resistant (AMR) Campylobacter jejuni strain.
A two-step phage application was tested according to a specific combination between chickens’ rearing time and specific multiplicities of infections (MOIs), in order to reduce the Campylobacter load in the animals at slaughtering and to limit the development of phage-resistant mutants. In particular, 75 broilers were divided into three groups (A, B and C), and phages were administered to animals of groups B and C at day 38 (Φ 16-izsam) and 39 (Φ 7-izsam) at MOI 0.1 (group B) and 1 (group C). All broilers were euthanized at day 40, and Campylobacter jejuni was enumerated in cecal contents.
Reductions in Campylobacter counts were statistically significant in both group B (1 log10 colony forming units (cfu)/gram (gr)) and group C (2 log10 cfu/gr), compared to the control group.
Our findings provide evidence about the ability of phage therapy to reduce the Campylobacter load in poultry before slaughtering, also associated with anti-microbial resistance pattern.
Keywords: Campylobacter jejuni; anti-microbial resistance (AMR); broiler chickens; phage therapy.
Copyright: the authors.