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Campylobacter dynamics in free-range & conventional farming systems
Summary This study will evaluate the Campylobacter jejuni and coli dynamics (and levels) within two farming systems, i.e. freerange and conventional growout, both with and without reusing litter. The current RIRDC study, looking at Campylobacter over six cycles in conventional partial and full reuse has shown a sequential increase in the percentages of C. coli, reaching an overall dominance of 60% (when compared with C. jejuni) across treatments. More so, a 100% dominance of C. coli (in caeca) was observed during the sixth cycle which was run as freerange due to commercial reasons. Whether this was specifically linked to freerange or the reuse practices adopted or both are unclear. Overseas studies have also shown a similar dominance of C. coli with freerange production (ElShibiny et al. 2005). These outcomes clearly showing that the farming system (and related litter and /or soil environments) seems to influence species dominance of Campylobacter. Majority of the human gastroenteritis (~ 95%) is attributed to C. jejuni (D’Lima et al. 2007) than C. coli, though somewhat a risk. The natural dominance of C. coli could have an indirect impact on the human disease burden. This study will explore the Campylobacter dynamics that naturally occur within freerange, reuse and conventional growout farming conditions. The outcomes of the study will provide a scientific basis for the industry to control C. jejuni by exploiting the natural microbial interactions that potentially occur within these various farming systems.
Program Chicken Meat
Research organisation The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Objective summary This study will build on the outcomes of the work in progress (RIRDC project on reuse litter).
The key R & D objectives of the study are:
1.To compare the levels of Campylobacter in the litter, caeca and carcasses of chicken from conventional and freerange farming both with and without reuse. (The reuse being the Australian practice of reusing through either one or two cycles following a pushup process)
2.To enumerate (and isolate) Campylobacterphages that may prevail within the various farming systems with special emphasis on both freerange and reuse environments, i.e. litter, soil and caeca
3.To study 1 and 2 from farms belonging to two major companies
4.To evaluate (within different ecological settings) the C. jejuni and C. coli dynamics attributed to the different farming systems
5.To provide the industry with the knowledge (and options) to manage C. jejuni by exploiting the merits attributed to already adopted farming practices
Project Stage Closed
Project start date Thursday, July 28, 2011
Project completion date Saturday, February 28, 2015
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority Promoting and maintaining good health
Rural priority Advanced Technology
RIRDC goal CME-Deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes
Principal researcher Nalini Chinivasagam
Research manager Kylie Hewson
Admin contact Paul Hickey