Special Issue "Poultry Microbiology and Immunology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 14843
Modern poultry are thrifty and remarkable animals. They can convert feed to animal protein extremely efficiently, when provided an optimal rearing environment. A broiler chicken has a short grow out period and can reach a marketable size of 5 to 10 pounds at only 5 to 9 weeks of age. A layer hen may be economically viable for 1–2 years, laying an average of 259 eggs per year. However, animals bred for improved performance and feed conversion may also have been inadvertently selected for a diminished immune response.
Poultry are known carriers of foodborne pathogens such as the Salmonella and Campylobacter species. Testing methodologies have become more sensitive and regulations for the reduction of these pathogens have increased. Unfortunately, many of these enteric pathogens are considered as commensals by the bird and are difficult to eradicate as tolerance develops in the gut. Respiratory and enteric diseases continue to negatively affect the industry due to decreased nutrient absorption, morbidity and mortalities. Enhanced biosecurity, surveillance and vaccination strategies have helped, but improvements are still needed.
Maintaining the health and welfare of these animals has become more difficult, as consumer preferences and concerns from the medical community have resulted in restrictions of antibiotic usage in food-producing animals. Producers are attempting to improve avian health by utilizing vaccines and antibiotic alternatives such as probiotics, prebiotics, immune-modulators, botanicals, nutraceuticals, and bacteriophages to combat these pathogens and potentially modulate the avian immune response.
The poultry industry has been successful in producing a wholesome and inexpensive source of animal protein for human consumption, but it is also faced with significant challenges concerning improving bird health and welfare with more restrictions and less available tools. We invite original research papers that address improving avian health by refining our understanding of pathogenesis and developing new strategies to ameliorate disease.
Prof. Morgan B. Farnell
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- antibiotic alternatives
- immune modulators
- gut health
- food safety