Intracloacal inoculation, an effective screening method for determining the efficacy of probiotic bacterial isolates against Campylobacter colonization in broiler chickens

J Food Prot. 2015 Jan;78(1):209-13. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-326.


Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne illness worldwide. It is common in poultry, and human infections are often associated with consumption of contaminated poultry products. One strategy to reduce Campylobacter colonization in poultry is the use of oral probiotics, but this produces variable results, possibly because the probiotics are destroyed in the stomach's acidic environment. Protection (e.g., encapsulation) of isolates may overcome this problem, but there is no assurance that these isolates will have efficacy in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, screening candidate isolates by directly placing them in the lower intestinal tract via cloacal inoculation may eliminate the time and expense of encapsulating ineffective isolates. Thus, the purpose of this study was to collect bacterial isolates with anti-Campylobacter activity in vitro and evaluate their efficacy in vivo upon either oral or intracloacal administration. Bacterial isolates were collected from healthy birds and were evaluated for efficacy against C. jejuni in vitro. Isolates having generally regarded as safe status and demonstrating in vitro anti-Campylobacter properties were evaluated after oral or intracloacal inoculation into chicks on day 1 (n = 10 birds per isolate per route of administration). On day 7, birds were dosed by oral gavage with a four-strain mixture of wild-type Campylobacter containing at least 1 × 10(7) CFU/ml organisms. On day 14, birds were euthanized and the ceca were collected aseptically for Campylobacter enumeration. When dosed orally, only one isolate had a 1-log reduction in cecal Campylobacter counts, whereas when administered intracloacally, six of these isolates produced a 1- to 3-log reduction in cecal Campylobacter counts in 14-day-old chickens. These results support the strategy of evaluating the efficacy of potential probiotic isolates via cloacal inoculation prior to undergoing the effort of encapsulating isolates for oral administration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antibiosis / physiology
  • Bacillus / isolation & purification
  • Bacillus / physiology*
  • Bacterial Load
  • Campylobacter / growth & development
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Chickens / microbiology*
  • Cloaca / microbiology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*