Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds healthy intestinal bacteria within chicken eggs

05.06.2008
Finding could have important implications for poultry industry, food safety

The conventional wisdom among scientists has long been that birds acquire the intestinal bacteria that are necessary for good health from their environment, but a new University of Georgia study finds that chickens are actually born with those bacteria.

Lead author Adriana Pedroso said the finding, presented this week at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in Boston, could have important implications for the poultry industry and for food safety.

“Understanding the microbial ecology of the developing chicken is the first step toward producing healthy birds without antibiotics,” said Pedroso, a post-doctoral researcher in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine.

Pedroso and her colleagues incubated more than 300 eggs and dipped them into a light bleach solution before extracting the embryos using sterile tools. DNA analysis revealed a diverse community of bacteria within the intestines of the developing embryos. Pedroso and her colleagues hypothesize that the bacteria penetrate the surface of the shell to the egg white, which is then ingested by the developing embryo.

Study co-author John Maurer, professor of population health, said the finding could lead to better methods for promoting growth in poultry and for reducing the risk of food-borne illness. He explained that as the poultry industry has moved away from the use of growth-promoting antibiotics in recent years, it increasingly relies on administering probiotics—beneficial intestinal bacteria—to newly hatched chicks. Establishing a community of healthy bacteria in the birds is thought to make it more difficult for pathogenic bacteria to establish themselves, but studies on the effectiveness of probiotics have shown mixed results. Maurer said it appears now that the timing of probiotic administration is important.

“Currently, most probiotics are administered after the chicks have hatched,” Maurer said. “But our study suggests we might need to administer probiotics in ovo (in the egg) to get better results.”

The idea that embryos are sterile in the egg and that chicks acquire their intestinal bacteria after hatching goes back to the 1960s, when early experiments using bacterial cultures—often Petri dishes with a growth medium—failed to grow any bacteria. Newer DNA techniques such as those Pedroso and her colleagues used are much more sensitive, however, and aren’t influenced by how well a bacterium grows in a dish.

“Previous assumptions were based on the use of cell cultures,” Pedroso said, “but we now know that only 1 percent of bacteria in the biosphere can be cultured.”

Sam Fahmy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>