Assessment of Chicken Carcass Microbiome Responses During Processing in the Presence of Commercial Antimicrobials Using a Next Generation Sequencing Approach

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 23:7:43354. doi: 10.1038/srep43354.


The purpose of this study was to 1) identify microbial compositional changes on chicken carcasses during processing, 2) determine the antimicrobial efficacy of peracetic acid (PAA) and Amplon (blend of sulfuric acid and sodium sulfate) at a poultry processing pilot plant scale, and 3) compare microbial communities between chicken carcass rinsates and recovered bacteria from media. Birds were collected from each processing step and rinsates were applied to estimate aerobic plate count (APC) and Campylobacter as well as Salmonella prevalence. Microbiome sequencing was utilized to identify microbial population changes over processing and antimicrobial treatments. Only the PAA treatment exhibited significant reduction of APC at the post chilling step while both Amplon and PAA yielded detectable Campylobacter reductions at all steps. Based on microbiome sequencing, Firmicutes were the predominant bacterial group at the phyla level with over 50% frequency in all steps while the relative abundance of Proteobacteria decreased as processing progressed. Overall microbiota between rinsate and APC plate microbial populations revealed generally similar patterns at the phyla level but they were different at the genus level. Both antimicrobials appeared to be effective on reducing problematic bacteria and microbiome can be utilized to identify optimal indicator microorganisms for enhancing product quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bacterial Load
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification
  • Chickens / microbiology
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Microbiota / drug effects*
  • Peracetic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification
  • Sulfates / administration & dosage*
  • Sulfuric Acids / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Sulfates
  • Sulfuric Acids
  • sodium sulfate
  • Peracetic Acid
  • sulfuric acid