A research project at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, N.C., and at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Athens, Ga., that studied the transmission of Salmonella andCampylobacter in breeder and market turkeys has been completed. The project is part of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.

The study, led by Dr. Doug Smith at NCSU, points to poultry house pests (i.e.: flies, beetles, rodents, etc.) as potential vectors of both organisms. Although vertical transmission from breeders to market turkeys was not demonstrated, it was shown that both Salmonella and Campylobacter could be found in semen and in the reproductive tract of hens. Sanitizing of hatching eggs reduced the contamination of eggshells by Salmonella. In this study, use of a probiotic did not reduce the prevalence of either organism.

Other researchers involved in the project were Dr. Jesse Grimes, Dr. Sophia Kathariou, and Maria Crespo Rodriguez, NCSU; and Dr. Nelson Cox and Dr. Jeff Buhr, USDA Agricultural Research Service.