18 May 1998
Probiotic beats salmonella in chickens

THE US Department of Agriculture has developed a bacteria mixture called Preempt which could lead to the end of salmonella in chickens, according to Nature Biotechnology.

Not one chick became infected with salmonella when the mixture of 29 types of live bacteria was fed to 80,000 newly hatched birds. But in contrast, 7% of control chickens not given the spray became infected.

The research is being carried out by the USDAs animal protection research laboratory in Texas. The Food and Drug Administration has given the treatment its approval.

Preempt comes under the branch of medicines known as probiotics, an old concept which has never entered the mainstream of veterinary medicine.

The Meat and Livestock Commission is now working with probiotics in the hope that they will prove more effective than using antibiotics to stop harmful bugs entering the stomachs of farm animals.

  • MLC calls for antibiotic reduction in farming, FWi, 6 May — Click here
  • The Times 18/05/98 page 17