A longitudinal study of Salmonella infection in different types of Turkey flocks in Great Britain.
Salmonella is, after Campylobacter, the most reported zoonotic pathogen in the EU. Poultry are a common source of infection to humans, and turkey flocks are commonly colonized with the organism. We investigated the prevalence and risk factors of Salmonella infection in 179 houses in 60 holdings representative of turkey meat and breeder production in Great Britain. From each holding, up to four houses were chosen, and two consecutive flocks per house were sampled/tested for Salmonella to investigate the persistence, elimination and introduction of Salmonella in consecutive crops. At the first sampling, the overall flock-level Salmonella prevalence was 32.8% and 8.9% for meat and breeding flocks respectively. There was a higher prevalence of Salmonella in flocks in the rearing stage than in the fattening and breeding stages. At the first sampling, the flock-level prevalence of Salmonella was 26.8% (95% CI: 20.7-33.7%), while the prevalence level in the subsequent flock was 20.5% (95% CI: 13.6-29.7%). No houses were positive for any of the EU-regulated serovars. The most commonly encountered serovars were S. Kottbus and S. Kedougou. Carry-over of infection was observed in 44.8% of the positive houses, and introduction of new infection occurred in 8.4% of houses. Data from the questionnaires and auditing of all holdings and houses were combined and used to calculate adjusted farm- and house-adjusted risk factors. Significant risk factors were feed from a source other than a national compounder (OR=2.4), feeder type other than pan feeders (OR=2.4) and hygiene practices other than terminal cleaning and disinfection using power-washing with sanitizer and anteroom with boot change (OR=2.8). The study discusses the main challenges currently faced by the industry to control Salmonella in turkey production.