Broiler health status has a major negative impact on broiler flock contamination with Campylobacter spp. in Lithuania

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine risk factors for Campylobacter infection in broiler flocks in Lithuania. Each broiler flock was tested for the contamination with Campylobacter spp., and various broiler farm, flock and abattoir as well as the weather-associated characteristics were analysed using the statistical package SPSS. Study revealed that 59.3% of the examined broiler flocks were contaminated with Campylobacter spp. Statistical analysis revealed that broiler flock contamination with Campylobacter was abattoir- and farm-dependent. Among a number of risk factors (e.g. the number of broiler houses at the farm, the type of ventilation system, the presence of the anteroom and boot security, etc.) identified, two broiler health-associated characteristics: (i) broiler age and (ii) the average weight per bird at abattoir had the highest impact on the increased prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in broilers. According to our results broiler health status has a major negative effect on broiler flock contamination with Campylobacter. Thus, it needs to be considered when improving control of Campylobacter spp. in broilers.

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