Salmonellosis Outbreaks in Michigan Small-Flock Owners Traced Back to a Hatchery


A specific small specialty hatchery in Michigan supplying chicks to owners of backyard flocks was implicated as a source of Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium.

The investigation followed a series of diagnoses involving 70 outbreaks with 4,800 cases over an 18-year period. Recently the Michigan Department of Health has investigated 24 clinical cases of SE attributed to the specific hatchery.

In a field investigation samples were obtained from incubators, the chick handling area, the environment of parent flocks and a transport vehicle. Of 45 samples collected in the hatchery nine percent yielded Salmonella Typhimurium. Application of whole genome sequencing confirmed close similarity of the isolates from patients and from chick box swabs.

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