‘Competitive exclusion’ is potential benefit of live Salmonella vaccines in young birds

Live vaccines can start offering protection within a few days of administration
calendar icon 6 July 2022
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Live vaccines for Salmonella have been found to start offering protection within a few days of administration, acting “almost as a [form of] competitive exclusion,” said Chuck Hofacre, president of the Southern Poultry Research Group.

A normal antibody immune response would take 7 to 14 days, so something else is evidently occurring, Hofacre told Poultry Health Today.

“We also know [live vaccines] are quite effective against Salmonella groups B and D, including Enteritidis, Heidelberg or Typhimurium,” he added. “They’re not quite as effective against the group-C strains like Kentucky, but one study we’ve done has shown they are moderately protective against Salmonella Infantis, which is becoming more of a concern.”

Hofacre also said a live Salmonella vaccine can competitively exclude some dissimilar strains in young poultry.

“Broilers are really just young poultry,” he said. “We also use live vaccines in our breeders when they’re young.”

More pressure on processors

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has put more pressure on processors to meet performance standards, Hofacre said.

“More companies have begun to use live vaccines because they are very easy, and they’ve been accepted around the world as a good intervention for rapidly lowering your risk for Salmonella, especially those at highest risk for human foodborne illness coming into the plant,” he added.

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