Distribution and Diversity of Salmonella Strains in Shipments of Hatchling Poultry, United States, 2013
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Distribution and Diversity of Salmonella Strains in Shipments of Hatchling Poultry, United States, 2013

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Zoonoses Public Health
    • Description:
      Multistate outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with live poultry contact have been occurring with increasing frequency. In 2013, multistate outbreaks of salmonellosis were traced back to exposure to live poultry, some of which were purchased at a national chain of farm stores (Farm store chain Y). This study was conducted at 36 stores of Farm store chain Y and was concurrent with the timing of exposure for the human outbreaks of salmonellosis in 2013. We used environmental swabs of arriving shipment boxes of hatchling poultry and shipment tracking information to examine the distribution, diversity and anti-microbial resistance of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) across farm stores and hatcheries. Isolates recovered from shipment boxes underwent serotyping, anti-microbial resistance (AMR) testing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Postal service tracking codes from the shipment boxes were used to determine the hatchery of origin. The PFGE patterns were compared with the PFGE patterns of NTS causing outbreaks of salmonellosis in 2013. A total of 219 hatchling boxes from 36 stores in 13 states were swabbed between 15 March 2013 and 18 April 2013. NTS were recovered from 59 (27%) of 219 hatchling boxes. Recovery was not significantly associated with species of hatchlings, number of birds in the shipment box, or the presence of dead, injured or sick birds. Four of the 23 PFGE patterns and 23 of 50 isolates were indistinguishable from strains causing human outbreaks in 2013. For serotypes associated with human illnesses, PFGE patterns most frequently recovered from shipment boxes were also more frequent causes of human illness. Boxes positive for the same PFGE pattern most frequently originated from the same mail-order hatchery. Only one of 59 isolates was resistant to anti-microbials used to treat Salmonella infections in people. This study provides critical information to address recurrent human outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with mail-order hatchling poultry.
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