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Evaluation of respiratory route as a viable portal of entry for Salmonella in poultry

Authors Kallapura G, Hernandez-Velasco X, Pumford N, Bielke L, Hargis B, Tellez G

Received 20 February 2014

Accepted for publication 7 May 2014

Published 14 August 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 59—73


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Gopala Kallapura,1 Xochitl Hernandez-Velasco,2 Neil R Pumford,1 Lisa R Bielke,1 Billy M Hargis,1 Guillermo Tellez1

1Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA; 2College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, The National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

Abstract: With increasing reports of Salmonella infection, we are forced to question whether the fecal–oral route is the major route of infection and consider the possibility that airborne Salmonella infections might have a major unappreciated role. Today's large-scale poultry production, with densely stocked and enclosed production buildings, is often accompanied by very high concentrations of airborne microorganisms. Considering that the upper and lower respiratory lymphoid tissue requires up to 6 weeks to be fully developed, these immune structures seem to have a very minor role in preventing pathogen infection. In addition, the avian respiratory system in commercial poultry has anatomic and physiologic properties that present no challenge to the highly adapted Salmonella. The present review evaluates the hypothesis that transmission by the fecal–respiratory route may theoretically be a viable portal of entry for Salmonella in poultry. First, we update the current knowledge on generation of Salmonella bioaerosols, and the transport and fate of Salmonella at various stages of commercial poultry production. Further, emphasis is placed on survivability of Salmonella in these bioaerosols, as a means to assess the transport and subsequent risk of exposure and infection of poultry. Additionally, the main anatomic structures, physiologic functions, and immunologic defense in the avian respiratory system are discussed to understand the potential entry points inherent in each component that could potentially lead to infection and subsequent systemic infection of poultry by Salmonella. In this context, we also evaluate the role of the mucosal immune system as essentially one large interconnected network that shares information distally, since understanding of this sort of communication between mucosal sites is fundamental to establish the next phase of disease characterization, and perhaps immunization and vaccine development. Further characterization of the respiratory tract with regard to transmission of Salmonella under field conditions may be of critical importance in developing interventional strategies to reduce transmission of this important zoonotic pathogen in poultry.

Keywords: Salmonella, respiratory route, portal of entry, systemic dissemination

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