Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is a major foodborne pathogen responsible for causing gastrointestinal infections in humans, predominantly due to the consumption of contaminated eggs. In layer hens, SE colonizes the intestine and migrates to various organs, including the oviduct, thereby leading to egg yolk and shell contamination. This study investigated the efficacy of caprylic acid (CA), a medium-chain fatty acid, in reducing SE colonization and egg contamination in layers. Caprylic acid was supplemented in the feed at 0%, 0.7%, or 1% (vol/wt) from day 1 of the experiment. Birds were challenged with 1010 log colony-forming units (CFU)/mL of SE by crop gavage on day 10, and re-inoculated (1010 log CFU/mL) on day 35. After 7 days post first inoculation, eggs were collected daily and tested for SE on the shell and in the yolk separately. The birds were sacrificed on day 66 to determine SE colonization in the ceca, liver, and oviduct. The consumer acceptability of eggs was also determined by triangle test. The experiment was replicated twice. In-feed supplementation of CA (0.7% and 1%) to birds consistently decreased SE on eggshell and in the yolk (p<0.05). Supplementation of CA at 1.0% decreased SE population to ∼14% on the shell and ∼10% in yolk, when compared to control birds, which yielded ∼60% positive samples on shell and ∼43% in yolk. Additionally, SE populations in the cecum and liver were reduced in treated birds compared to control (p<0.05). No significant difference in egg production, body weight, or sensory properties of eggs was observed (p>0.05). The results suggest that CA could potentially be used as a feed additive to reduce eggborne transmission of SE.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Animal Science and Zoology