Biocontrol of Escherichia coli and Salmonella in poultry meat using phage cocktail

Document Type : Short paper


1 Nitte (Deemed to be University), Nitte University Centre for Science Education and Research, Deralakatte, Mangaluru, Karnataka 575018, India

2 Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL), Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), Shivamogga-577 201, India


Background: Despite advances in food management techniques, foodborne illness remains a major concern. Contamination of Salmonella and Escherichia coli pathogens, especially in the poultry sector, is responsible for salmonellosis and other gastrointestinal illness, leading to millions of deaths worldwide. Overuse of antibiotics and other chemical treatments have further increased the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Aims: This study aimed to study the efficacy of phages cocktail to reduce the load of E. coli and Samlonella spiked on poultry meat. Methods: In this study, a broad spectrum cocktail of phages was used to lyse E. coli and Salmonella spiked on chicken meat. Results: Based on the result of the CFU drop assay, phages like E. coli 153T 3ii and Salmonella 191(3) were selected. Phage concentration of 0.01 MOI showed a reduction in E. coli and Salmonella count to 6 h and 2 h, respectively. Further, phages were tested on the surface of chicken meat. E. coli showed a 90% reduction up to 4 h, whereas Salmonella showed a 90% reduction up to 6 h. When phages were treated in combination, a significant reduction of up to 12 h was found with Salmonella phage, showing better antimicrobial activity. Conclusion: The suitable concentration of a specific phage or phage cocktail can significantly reduce the bacterial count on chicken meat. Phage mediated biocontrol can be used as an alternative approach to eliminate enteric pathogens in the poultry industry.


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