Supplementation of lactobacillus-fermented rapeseed meal in broiler diet reduces Campylobacter jejuni cecal colonization and limits the l-tryptophan and l-histidine biosynthesis pathways

F Khattak*, SG Galgano, N. R Pedersen,, Yan Hui, R Matthiesen,, JGM Houdijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni), a widely distributed global foodborne pathogen, primarily linked with contaminated chicken meat, poses a significant health risk. Reducing the abundance of this pathogen in poultry meat is challenging but essential. This study assessed the impact of Lactobacillus-fermented rapeseed meal (LFRM) on broilers exposed to C. jejuni-contaminated litter, evaluating growth performance, Campylobacter levels, and metagenomic profile. RESULTS: By day 35, the litter contamination successfully colonized broilers with Campylobacter spp., particularly C. jejuni. In the grower phase, LFRM improved (P < 0.05) body weight and daily weight gain, resulting in a 9.2% better feed conversion ratio during the pre-challenge period (the period before artificial infection; days 13–20). The LFRM also reduced the C. jejuni concentration in the ceca (P < 0.05), without altering alpha and beta diversity. However, metagenomic data analysis revealed LFRM targeted a reduction in the abundance of C. jejuni biosynthetic pathways of l-tryptophan and l-histidine and gene families associated with transcription and virulence factors while also possibly leading to selected stress-induced resistance mechanisms. CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated that LFRM inclusion improved growth and decreased cecal Campylobacter spp. concentration and the relative abundance of pivotal C. jejuni genes. Performance benefits likely resulted from LFRM metabolites. At the molecular level, LFRM may have reduced C. jejuni colonization, likely by decreasing the abundance of energy transduction and l-histidine and l-tryptophan biosynthesis genes otherwise required for bacterial survival and increased virulence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Early online date23 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 23 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords

  • campylobacter
  • lacto-fermented rapeseed meal
  • metagenomics
  • broilers

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