Competitive Exclusion by Bacillus Subtilis Spores of Salmonella Enterica Serotype Enteritidis and Clostridium Perfringens in Young Chickens

Vet Microbiol. 2003 Jul 17;94(3):245-56. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1135(03)00077-4.


Cost effective control of avian diseases and food borne pathogens remains a high priority for all sectors of the poultry industry with cleansing and disinfection, vaccination and competitive exclusion approaches being used widely. Previous studies showed that Bacillus subtilis PY79(hr) was an effective competitive exclusion agent for use in poultry to control avian pathogenic Escherichia coli serotype O78:K80. Here we report experiments that were undertaken to test the efficacy of B. subtilis PY79(hr) in the control of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis and Clostridium perfringens in young chickens. To do this, 1-day-old and 20-day-old specific pathogen free (SPF) chicks were dosed with a suspension of B. subtilis spores prior to challenge with S. Enteritidis (S1400) and C. perfringens, respectively. For both challenge models, a single oral inoculum of 1x10(9) spores given 24h prior to challenge was sufficient to suppress colonisation and persistence of both S. Enteritidis and C. perfringens. In particular, the faecal shedding of S. Enteritidis, as measured by a semi-quantitative cloacal swabbing technique, was reduced significantly for the 36 days duration of the experiment. B. subtilis persisted in the intestine although with decreasing numbers over the same period. These data add further evidence that B. subtilis spores may be effective agents in the control of avian diseases and food borne pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiosis / physiology*
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
  • Chickens*
  • Cloaca / microbiology
  • Clostridium perfringens / growth & development*
  • Colony Count, Microbial / veterinary
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology*
  • Poultry Diseases / prevention & control
  • Random Allocation
  • Salmonella enteritidis / growth & development*
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Spores, Bacterial