In newly hatched chicks, the rapid establishment of an adult-type intestinal microflora, via the oral route, produces almost immediate resistance to colonization by any food poisoning salmonellas that gain access to the rearing environment. Exploitation of the 'competitive exclusion' (CE) effect is now an accepted part of the overall strategy by which poultry-associated salmonellas are being controlled in some countries. This review covers practical aspects of CE treatment and factors affecting efficacy in both laboratory-scale trials and field studies. It also considers possible applications in preventing colonization of poultry with Escherichia coli O157 and Campylobacter jejuni. For the latter, evidence suggests that the 'protective' organisms are different from those involved in salmonella control.
Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.