Health & Nutrition Challenges

Salmonellosis In Poultry

What is Salmonellosis? 

Salmonellosis is an infectious disease caused by the Salmonella bacteria. Poultry, including chickens and turkeys, can be infected with Salmonella, which is shed in their feces. This bacteria can contaminate the environment, feed, and water, leading to the transmission and infection of other birds. Salmonella poses a risk to both animal and human health, making it a significant concern for veterinarians and public health authorities.


Salmonella is a gram-negative bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. It encompasses numerous serovars, with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium being the most common in poultry. The bacteria are typically shed in the feces of infected animals and can persist in the environment for extended periods.

Incidence of Salmonellosis in Poultry

Salmonella infection is a global concern for the poultry industry. While the incidence rates vary across regions and poultry production systems, it is a prevalent issue in intensive farming environments. Poultry flocks infected with Salmonella can experience significant economic losses due to decreased production, increased mortality, and restrictions on trade.

Economical Impact

Salmonellosis has significant economic implications for the poultry industry, including reduced production, increased mortality rates, condemnation of affected birds and financial losses for producers. Additionally, outbreaks of Salmonella in poultry can have severe repercussions on public health, leading to foodborne illnesses and subsequent economic losses across the entire food chain. Effective prevention strategies are crucial to avoid outbreaks and financial losses.

Predisposing Factors for Salmonellosis

Several factors can predispose poultry flocks to Salmonella infection. Stressful conditions, such as overcrowding, poor ventilation, and abrupt changes in environmental temperature, weaken the birds' immune system and increase their susceptibility to Salmonella. Concurrent infections, nutritional deficiencies, and poor flock management practices can also contribute to the occurrence of Salmonellosis.

Symptoms and Clinical Signs

Salmonellosis in poultry can manifest in various ways, depending on the severity of the infection. Common clinical signs include watery diarrhea, dehydration, decreased feed intake, weight loss, decreased egg production, and respiratory distress. In severe cases, high mortality rates may occur. Prompt identification and treatment of infected birds are crucial to minimizing the impact of Salmonellosis on flock health.

Causes of Salmonellosis in Poultry 

Poultry can become infected with Salmonella through multiple routes. Contaminated feed, water, equipment, and the introduction of carrier birds are primary sources of infection. Vertical transmission from breeder hens to their offspring is also a significant route of Salmonella infection. Environmental factors such as poor biosecurity practices and inadequate hygiene protocols can increase the risk of Salmonella contamination in poultry flocks.

Prevention Strategies

Preventing Salmonellosis in poultry requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses several key strategies:

Biosecurity Measures: Strict biosecurity protocols should be implemented to prevent the introduction and spread of Salmonella. These protocols include controlling visitor access, maintaining proper sanitation, and implementing effective pest control measures. Regular cleaning and disinfecting facilities and equipment are essential to minimize bacterial contamination.

Vaccination: Vaccination against Salmonella can help reduce the prevalence and severity of infection in poultry flocks. Consultation with a veterinarian is necessary to determine the appropriate vaccination program based on the specific Salmonella serovars in the region.

Nutritional Management: Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system of poultry. Providing a balanced and high-quality diet helps strengthen the birds' natural defences against Salmonella and other pathogens.

Water Management: Ensuring a clean and uncontaminated water supply is essential for preventing Salmonella infection. Regular monitoring of water sources, proper disinfection methods, and maintaining adequate water hygiene are critical components of effective water management.

Environmental Control: Maintaining optimal environmental conditions, including proper ventilation, temperature control, and litter management, can reduce stress on birds and minimize their susceptibility to Salmonella.

Regular Monitoring and Surveillance: Regular testing and monitoring of poultry flocks for Salmonella are necessary to detect and address potential infections promptly. This includes sampling feed, water, and bird feces for laboratory analysis.


When poultry consumes feed contaminated with mycotoxins, it can lead to various health issues and impair their immune system, making them more susceptible to Salmonella infections. Mycotoxins can weaken the intestinal barrier, disrupt the balance of gut microflora, and impair the immune response, creating an environment that is favourable for Salmonella colonization and proliferation. Additionally, mycotoxins can suppress the production of antibodies and compromise the effectiveness of vaccinations, further increasing the vulnerability of poultry to Salmonella infections. To mitigate the risks associated with the interaction between Salmonella and mycotoxins in poultry, a multi-strategic mycotoxin eliminator must be used in feed formulations. This will eliminate the absorption of mycotoxins in the gastrointestinal tract, boost the immune system and prevent the combined effects of salmonella and mycotoxin on poultry health.

Biofeed's mycotoxin risk management program offers a range of the latest generation mycotoxin deactivators and control solutions.
Biofeed's Mycotoxin Risk Management Program
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Antibiotic Resistance

The use of antibiotics in poultry farming has contributed to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella. This can pose risks to both animal and human health. Alternative methods such as probiotics and prebiotics have gained attention as effective methods to address this problem. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that can help promote healthy gut microbiota in poultry, while prebiotics are substances that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria. These approaches aim to enhance the bird's natural defences against Salmonella and other pathogens, reducing the need for antibiotics. Research suggests that certain probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus and Bacillus species, can inhibit the growth of Salmonella and improve the overall gut health of poultry. The use of prebiotics like Mannan oligosaccharides and beta-glucan is also a well-proven and effective way of fighting Salmonella and other pathogens.

Biofeed's gut health and performance program offers a wide range of probiotic, prebiotic and immune stimulant solutions.
Biofeed Gut Health and Performance Program
Click here to learn more about Biofeed's Gut Health & Performance Program

Suggested Solutions

Biofeed - Fullzyme MAX
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Biofeed - Fullzyme Ultra
Fullzyme® Ultra is a unique combination of concentrated digestive enzymes, Including NSP enzymes, Amylase, Protease, and lipase used in premixes and animal feed
Biofeed - Fullzyme NSP
Fullzyme® NSP is a  multi-enzyme solution for the optimum and most comprehensive degradation of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) present in feed.
Biofeed Fullzyme PHY Phytase
Fullzyme® PHY is a new-generation thermostable 6-Phytase specifically designed to increase the digestibility of phytate-bound phosphorus giving the highest savings while minimizing environmental impact.
Biofeed - Fullzyme X Xylanase
Fullzyme® X is a highly efficient Xylanase enzyme with proven efficacy in degrading fibre and increasing nutrient digestibility in feed, resulting in better performance and a healthier gut environment.
Biofeed - Fullzyme PRO  Protease
Fullzyme® PRO is a thermostable protease enzyme containing alkaline, neutral and acid proteases to optimize the digestibility of proteins in poultry and swine feed, resulting in feed cost reduction and improved performance.

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