ABSTRACT

The aim of the present study was to analyze the aerosol concentrations and microbial community structures in closed cage broiler houses at different broiler growth stages to assess the dynamic pattern of microbial aerosols in closed cage systems. Our results revealed that the total concentration of bacterial aerosols gradually increased during the growth cycle of broilers. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA revealed that microbial compositions differed tremendously during different growth stages, although Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were the dominant taxa in samples from all broiler growth stages. At the genus level, dominant phylotypes displayed great variation during different growth stages. Escherichia and Shigella were the most dominant taxa throughout the growth cycle, increasing from 4.3 to 12.4% as the broilers grew. The alpha index revealed that the microbial diversity displayed significant differences between the different growth stages and that the bacterial community had the highest diversity when broilers were 22 days old. High-throughput sequencing analyses revealed that environmental microbes and opportunistic pathogens had relatively high abundances during the winter growth period. The data revealed the composition and aerodynamic diameters of microbial aerosols in closed cage broiler houses at different broiler growth stages in winter. The results also enabled us to elucidate the dynamic pattern of microbial aerosols in broiler houses in response to bacterial communities. Our results may provide a basis for developing technologies for air quality control in caged poultry houses.

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