In vivo and in vitro evaluation of tissue colonization and survival capacity ofSalmonellaOranienburg in laying hens

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Salmonella enterica serovar Oranienburg (SO) was linked to a human salmonellosis outbreak in the Midwest in 2015 and 2016 from consumption of eggs. However, unlike Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE), little is known regarding the potential of SO to colonize in laying hens and contaminate eggs. We used in vivo and in vitro models to evaluate tissue colonization and survival capacity of SO. Twenty eight-week-old laying hens were each challenged with an oral dose of approximately 107 (n = 92) or 109 (n = 96) colony-forming units (CFU) in 1 mL saline and evaluated after 1, 2, and 4 wk. Standard microbiological methods with pre-enrichment and enrichment in selective media were used for detection of SO in tissues, egg shell wash, internal egg contents, and excreta. Peak colonization of spleen (86.9%), ovaries (31.6%), upper oviduct (15.8%), and lower oviduct (34.3%) was detected between 1 and 2 wk post-infection (pi), while at 4 wk SO was only recovered from spleens (25%). Salmonella enterica serovar Oranienburg was not recovered from internal egg contents. However, the presence of SO on egg shells was seen when there were traces of excreta. Shedding in excreta was found in 92 and 100% birds gavaged with 107 and 109 CFU at 2 wk pi, respectively. The invasion and proliferation of SO in ovarian granulosa cells (GC) was compared to that of SE, and while the invasion of SO into GC was comparable to SE, proliferation of SO was significantly lower (P < 0.05). The infective potential of SO was also assessed by enumerating survival in egg white over 4 wk under refrigerated conditions, resulting in 65% survival at 4 wk. Overall, our data suggested that SO infection in layers did not result in egg contamination via vertical transmission, and colonization of egg-forming tissues was limited to 2 wk pi. Survival within GC and egg white demonstrates the ability of SO to withstand antibacterial factors and the potential of SO to penetrate the yolk.

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