Study of dominant Salmonella serovars in chicken meat industry and their role

The University of Adelaide

  • Project code: PRJ-012212

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Saturday, August 29, 2020

  • Project completion date: Saturday, October 21, 2023

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 4-Ensuring food safety of Australian chicken meat


Contamination of poultry products by bacteria can lead to public health concerns, the costs of such occurrences are difficult to quantify. Adverse media coverage of the incidence of foodborne outbreaks has increased consumer awareness of food safety. These often uninformed and sensational reports can unnecessarily affect retail consumption of implicated products. In Australia, there are no specific set ranges of Salmonella counts on raw chicken meat. The human infectious dose for Salmonella could be less than 100 organisms. Although this is highly variable and depends upon the bacterial strain/serovar, immune/health status of an individual, age, diet, etc. It is common to find more than one Salmonella serovars in a field sample and certain Salmonella serovars are dominant (more frequently isolated) than others.
Despite several interventions along the supply chain, it is not uncommon to detect Salmonella serovars in poultry operations. The proposed research will investigate the dominance of Salmonella serovars in vertically integrated poultry operations and the role of certain Salmonella serovars in excluding virulent types such as Salmonella Typhimurium. Competitive and immune-protective mechanisms of dominant Salmonella serovars against virulent serovars (such as Salmonella Typhimurium) will also be investigated. The information generated from this project will improve the understanding of the dominance of Salmonella serovars and potentially provide additional interventions for the chicken meat industry.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Adelaide

Objective Summary

• To quantify the dominance of Salmonella serovars in parent breeder flocks and in the hatchery.
• To quantify the difference in colonising ability of dominant Salmonella serovars in meat chickens.
• To investigate the potential role of dominant Salmonella serovar/s in excluding virulent Salmonella serovars such as Typhimurium.