Enterococcus faecium J96 was isolated from a healthy free-range chicken and it inhibited Salmonella Pullorum, in vitro, due to its lactic acid and bacteriocin production. In vivo assays were carried out with 30-h-old broiler chicks. The lactic acid bacteria (∼1 × 109 cells per chick) were orally administered as preventive and as therapeutic treatments. In the first case they were given to the chicks twice a day for 3 consecutive days. In the second case the lactic bacteria were administered in the same way after a 24-h challenge by Salmonella Pullorum (in both instances the salmonella dose was 1 × 105 cells per chick). Cecal contents, liver, and spleens were analyzed and liver and spleen fragments were also fixed in formaldehyde (pH 7.00) in order to determine salmonella translocation. The chickens that were preventively treated with E. faecium J96 survived the Salmonella Pullorum challenge. Those that were infected on the first day and then inoculated with lactic bacteria died 4 days later. Salmonellae were isolated from their livers and spleens. From these results we may conclude that E. faecium J96 can protect newly hatched chicks from Salmonella Pullorum infection but cannot act as a good therapeutic agent.

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