Researchers in the US are working to create a salmonella-free line of poultry through the manipulation of bacteria in the intestines of chickens.
According to Matthew Koci, associate professor in the Department of Poultry Science at NC State University, researchers will try to identify microscopic elements in the bird’s intestines that might fend off salmonella and then encourage those “good” bacteria to flourish.
“We will be looking to see if there are bugs in the chickens’ gut that can exclude salmonella, and therefore lower the risk they will carry a food-borne disease,” Koci said.
Vaccines are available to stop the development of salmonella in chickens, but questions remain about their effectiveness, Koci said. “From our project, we hope to learn how changing the microbiota can improve vaccination or even eliminate the need for the salmonella vaccine all together,” he added.
The scientists also will explore why chickens can have salmonella bacteria in their stomach and yet not suffer any adverse affects themselves.