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The objective in this study was to identify risk factors for flock …

Home » Biology Articles » Agriculture » Animal Production » A farm-level study of risk factors associated with the colonization of broiler flocks with Campylobacter spp. in Iceland, 2001 – 2004 » Conclusion

- A farm-level study of risk factors associated with the colonization of broiler flocks with Campylobacter spp. in Iceland, 2001 – 2004

Our study has shown that, regardless of the modelling approach, there are a number of farm-level factors that appear to be important predictors for the risk of Campylobacter on broiler farms in Iceland, providing a basis for farm-level interventions. Median flock size was a consistent predictor in all of the models. Although it may be a surrogate for factors that increase the likelihood of exposure to Campylobacter, such as water, air or personnel, limiting flock sizes is an intervention that requires investigation. Farm water source was included in most of the models, suggesting the possible role of water in the transmission of Campylobacter. The use of official water if possible, and potentially, treating non-official water sources, may assist in reducing colonization. In addition, studies that explore more indirect factors, such as the type of well, the method of water treatment, and animal density in the region are warranted. Manure management practices revealed some interesting results. Storing manure in piles on the farm property had a protective effect, whereas spreading manure led to an increased proportion of colonized flocks. Since little is known about the causal effects of these practices, studies that evaluate the survival of Campylobacter in spent litter under various environmental conditions should be carried out before recommendations can be made. Nonetheless, farms experiencing a high prevalence of Campylobacter may wish to discontinue spreading manure on fields and pasture. Increasing numbers of broiler houses on the farm may increase risk through difficulties in maintaining strict hygiene or biosecurity practices, therefore, for new broiler farms, consideration should be given to limiting the number of houses built. The protective effect of livestock and the conflicting results for other poultry on the farm were unexpected and inconsistent with other studies. For the latter, further refinement in the classification of other poultry types may be necessary in order to properly assess their impact on broiler flock colonization.

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