Why is this research important for Alberta ag?
Salmonellosis remains one of the most frequent food-borne zoonoses related to consumption of contaminated poultry products. In recent years, a shift in salmonella serotypes has been reported in diverse geographical regions, being particularly associated with highly invasive and multidrug resistant strains. Despite all the control measures, eradication of salmonella from the poultry environment is unfeasible, leading to significant economic losses for poultry producers.
This research looks to develop a rapid comprehensive risk assessment platform to detect specific salmonella strains and antimicrobial resistance genes of high consequence for animal health and of high risk of economic losses to the industry due to public health threats.
What benefits can producers expect from this research?
Human illness associated with non-typhoidal salmonella serovars from poultry is a top priority in food safety, and chickens are a major reservoir of salmonella for human infection. Expedient salmonella serotyping is key for timely decisions on food recalls, flock quarantine, depopulation, and managing human health risks. Current turnaround time for salmonella serotyping is at least 3-4 weeks. The proposed research can reduce this time to a matter of days or even hours.
This research serves as a stepping stone towards AI-based animal health risk management that will predict salmonella-associated threats and allow the industry to make timely, informed decisions.
How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?
Findings will be published in a number of scientific papers and delivered presentations. Knowledge will be transferred to three broad stakeholder groups — poultry health veterinarians, producers, and policymakers. Information will also be shared at industry events, publications, and on industry web resources.