Campylobacter spp. cause numerous foodborne diseases. Poultry is thought to be a significant source of this zoonosis. Although many interventions designed to control this agent have been researched, none have succeeded. We evaluated a bacteriocin-based treatment to reduce Campylobacter jejuni colonization in poultry. A previously described purified bacteriocin (class IIa; molecular mass, 3,864 Da), secreted by Paenibacillus polymyxa NRRL-B-30509, was microencapsulated in polyvinylpyrrolidone, and 0.25 g of the purified bacteriocin was incorporated into 1 kg of chicken feed. One-day-old chickens were orally challenged and colonized with one of four isolates of C. jejuni, then reared in isolation facilities. Birds were provided ad libitum access to standard broiler starter feed and water for 7 days until 3 days before sampling, when only the treated groups of birds were provided the bacteriocin-emended feed described. In each of the eight (four by two replicates) trials, significant reductions in colonization by C. jejuni were observed (P ≤ 0.05). As an example of this highly consistent data, in the first trial, 10 untreated 10-day-old chickens were colonized at a mean log 7.2 + 0.3 CFU/g of feces, whereas none of the 10 bacteriocin-treated 10-day-old chickens were colonized with detectable numbers of C. jejuni. Bacteriocin treatment dramatically reduced both intestinal levels and frequency of chicken colonization by C. jejuni. Feeding bacteriocins before poultry slaughter appears to provide control of C. jejuni to effectively reduce human exposure. This advance is directed toward on-farm control of pathogens, as opposed to the currently used chemical disinfection of contaminated carcasses.

This content is only available as a PDF.