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Study raises question of stress in chickens, Campylobacter.

The release of a hormone at times of stress could be key to understanding why some food poisoning bacterium become more invasive in animals after transportation, according to a new study by the University of Bristol in England. Researchers found that chickens release a higher level of the hormone noradrenalin when they are under stress and that noradrenalin actually helps Campylobacter and Salmonella grow and spread more quickly.

A further finding from the study said Campylobacter can interact with other organisms in the gut of food animals, making it even more invasive. The results of the research provide vital information to enable the control of infection in the production environment, making chicken safer and decreasing cases of food poisoning, said a statement from the group.

Earlier research found that after chickens are trucked to slaughterhouses, levels of bacteria like Campylobacter are higher in their guts than levels on the farm. Previous data have indicated that food poisoning bacteria can show up to a tenfold increase in terms of concentration in the guts of animals and a doubling of the numbers infected following transportation, according to researchers.

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Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 20, 2009
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