Acute colonization of the crop of the domestic turkey by Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium (ST) was examined. The influences of preharvest probiotic and prebiotic treatment with lactobaccilli and lactose on crop colonization with ST were also investigated. Prior to Salmonella challenge, poults received 2.5% lactose and Lactobacillus acidophilus (1.9 × 109 organisms/liter) in the only source of drinking water from 1 day old to termination. At 3 wk old, turkey poults were challenged with ST (1.7 × 108 colony-forming units [CFU]/ml) before their natural nocturnal fast to determine the potential effects of supplementation on crop colonization when the crop was engorged and subsequently undergoing emptying. Crop ingesta and tissue were collected at time points 30 min and 4, 8, and 24 hr postchallenge and ST levels were determined. High levels of ST were detected in the crop. For instance, for the poults not receiving lactose or lactobacilli, 30 min after ST challenge, there were 4.4 × 107 CFU in the crop ingesta and 5.3 × 105 CFU in the crop wall. Ingesta ST levels dropped dramatically to 1.0 × 106 CFU after 4 hr as the crop emptied. Crop wall ST levels were steady during the nocturnal crop evacuation. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated ST in close association with the crop epithelium. Treatment with lactose and L. acidophilus supplementation did not reduce ST colonization.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2