Impact of farm-level strategies against thermotolerant Campylobacter in broiler chickens, using a quantitative risk assessment model and meta-analysis.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of control strategies (probiotic supplementation and vaccination) at farm on thermotolerant Campylobacter infection due to the consumption of salad cross-contaminated from broiler meat. The broiler food chain was modelled considering the most common practices applied in Argentina (baseline model) and their effect on the prevalence and counts of Campylobacter. Probiotic supplementation and vaccination against Campylobacter spp. were included in different models to evaluate their effectiveness. The parameter distributions of each intervention were obtained based on a systematic review and meta-analysis previously described. The control measures applied at farms were evaluated considering their effectiveness in reducing both the prevalence and the count of thermotolerant Campylobacter in comparison with the baseline model estimation and expressed as relative change in campylobacteriosis risk. Additionally, the identification of the most important input parameters for the model was performed by sensitivity analysis. The model estimated a risk of campylobacteriosis per consumed serving of salad contaminated with poultry meat of 4.99 x 10-3 (95% CI: 6.12 x 10-6-1.13 x 10-2), corresponding to an annual incidence risk estimated of 1,876,009 persons. Scenario analysis indicated that the application of vaccines against Campylobacter (probability of campylobacteriosis = 9.55 x 10-4; 95% CI: 5.31 x 10-4-1.29 x 10-3) and the supplementation of broilers with probiotics (probability of campylobacteriosis = 1.32 x 10-3; 8.55 x 10-4-1.69 x 10-3) can offer a modest reduction in risk estimates. The intervention efficacy was 80.86% and 73.54% for vaccination and probiotic supplementation, respectively. On-farm interventions were effective to mitigate the risk of campylobacteriosis.