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Analysis and control of egg contamination by Salmonella and other zoonotic pathogens after the move of laying hens to enriched cages and alternative housing systems

Objective

Due to EU regulations, egg producers have to ensure that effective measures are taken to control Salmonella and other zoonotic agents. Moreover, housing in conventional battery cages is prohibited from 2012. Currently, there is limited information on the proportion of eggs contaminated and the level of contamination, with zoonotic pathogens, in relation to the different conventional and alternative housing systems.

The proposed project will collect and analyse EU-wide data evaluating the effect of the housing system on egg contamination by zoonotic agents, in order to predict the potential risk to the consumer of the move to more welfare-friendly laying hen housing systems. This will be done by risk assessment studies using EFSA monitoring data, in combination with new data derived from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies in flocks housed in different housing systems.

These risk assessment studies will cover all potential zoonotic agents, antibiotic resistance gene transmission and residues. Furthermore, standardized experimental infection models with Salmonella will be used to directly assess the effect of the housing system on colonization of the gut and internal organs, including reproductive tissues, on spread of a Salmonella infection within a group of laying hens, and on egg contamination.

The underlying mechanisms of possible differences in prevalence of zoonotic agents in the different housing systems will be investigated by analysing stress responses, the composition of the microbiota and immune competence, in hens housed in different housing systems, both in experimental setups as in the field. To control zoonotic agents in the alternative housing systems, the project will propose simple and cost-effective measures such as steering gut flora composition towards a protective flora by changing feed composition. Also vector control, in particular red mites, and optimalisation of the housing system design are key issues.

Call for proposal

FP6-2005-FOOD-4-B
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

IP - Integrated Project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Address
Sint-pietersnieuwstraat 25
Gent
Belgium

Participants (11)

DANISH INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND VETERINARY RESEARCH
Denmark
Address
Bülowsvej 27
Copenhagen
THE UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
Address
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol
UNIVERSITY OF VETERINARY MEDICINE HANNOVER, FOUNDATION
Germany
Address
Buenteweg 2
Hannover
DANISH INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
Denmark
Address
Research Centre Foulum
Tjele
VETERINARY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Czechia
Address
Hudcova 70
Brno
INSTITUTE OF FOOD RESEARCH
United Kingdom
Address
Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane
Norwich
SWISS FEDERAL VETERINARY OFFICE (BUNDESAMT FUER VETERINAERWESEN)
Switzerland
Address
Schwarzenburgerstrasse 155
Bern
BIG DUTCHMAN INTERNATIONAL GMBH
Germany
Address
Auf Der Lage 2
Vechta
ANAXIMANDRE
France
Address
Parc D'innovation De Mescoat
Landerneau
DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET
Denmark
Address
Anker Engelunds Vej 1
Kgs. Lyngby
AARHUS UNIVERSITET
Denmark
Address
Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C