Salmonella is not a health problem for poultry, but it is a leading cause of human food poisoning. While poultry is not the only possible source of salmonellosis, it is known to be a major global reservoir of salmonellas.
Salmonellas are widely distributed in nature and are commonly carried by wild animals. Young poultry are particularly susceptible to infection. Effective control depends upon a number of factors, including improved on-farm biosecurity , use of “best practices” in husbandry and use of vaccines and competitive-exclusion products.
Food-borne infections from poultry products are often caused by Salmonella enteritidis or Salmonella typhimurium. Flocks should be monitored frequently for possible Salmonella infection, taking samples from litter, feces, boot or drag swabs and dust samples. If positive samples are found, treatment or culling must occur.
Breeders, broilers and layers can be vaccinated against Salmonella to help prevent infection or re-infection. Offspring of vaccinated birds are also protected by maternal antibodies.