For 25 years, collective efforts have been made to combat salmonella in the entire poultry chain. This is logical, because salmonella is a zoonosis and therefore combating it is part of the pursuit of safe and healthy food production. It is not for nothing that the control of salmonella was laid down in 2003 in European legislation and regulations.
Salmonella still an important problem
Despite the efforts of poultry farmers and the periphery, the annual poultry report of the Animal Health Service shows that in 2022 there will still be 33 positive Salmonella Enteritidis were laying pairs. In 2019 there were still 48, with also 3 Salmonella Typhimurium positive laying flocks.
“Despite the efforts and the large decrease, salmonella still remains a non-negligible and important problem for public health and therefore the poultry chain,” says Pieter Kirkels, Key Account Manager Poulty vaccines Benelux at Elanco Animal Health.
No decrease in salmonella after 2013
Is there cause for panic? No, the percentage of positive laying flocks must remain below 2% and that is currently the case (see graph below). The control programs have been shown to be effective in reducing salmonella infections in humans linked to the laying sector. “Unfortunately, however, there is no clear decrease after 2013, according to Kirkels. “The Egg Chain Risks report 2018 shows that approximately 4% of all food-related diseases in the Netherlands can be attributed to eggs and egg products, 54% of which are caused by Salmonella spp.”
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Risk factors in focus
So every case of salmonella is one too many. In order to tackle salmonella, it is important to identify the risk factors, identify areas for improvement and implement them. Infection can occur via two routes. The first is vertically through the ovary into the egg, so from mother to offspring. In this way, salmonella can enter the farm from infected chicks.
The second route of infection is horizontal, from hen or flock to flock, this route is much more common than the vertical route. In addition, SE not ST Salmonella’s not species specific. Such salmonella easily survives in other animal species and can occur in pests, but also in dogs and cats. Contaminated manure that is spread can also be a risk.
Vaccinate, and more
The answer to these possible infections consists of various measures. Intensive monitoring, strict hygiene measures and vaccination. Biosecurity, in other words ensuring measures that limit the chance of introduction from outside, is therefore of great importance. As a poultry farmer, make sure that you take all measures to avoid the spread of germs between barns and use a mandatory visitor protocol to keep it out of the company.
A strict vaccination schedule is without doubt an important step in prevention. Pieter Kirkels: “Vaccination is a good tool for raising the threshold against salmonella taking hold.” In addition, the correct way to vaccinate rearing flocks is an act that should not be underestimated and is very important for vaccination success.
Source: Poultry Newspaper