Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy Intestinal Bacteria Found Within Chicken Eggs

Date:
June 3, 2008
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
The conventional wisdom among scientists has long been that birds acquire the intestinal bacteria that are necessary for good health from their environment, but a new study finds that chickens are actually born with those bacteria.

The conventional wisdom among scientists has long been that birds acquire the intestinal bacteria that are necessary for good health from their environment, but a new University of Georgia study finds that chickens are actually born with those bacteria.

Lead author Adriana Pedroso said the finding, presented this week at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in Boston, could have important implications for the poultry industry and for food safety.

“Understanding the microbial ecology of the developing chicken is the first step toward producing healthy birds without antibiotics,” said Pedroso, a post-doctoral researcher in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine.

Pedroso and her colleagues incubated more than 300 eggs and dipped them into a light bleach solution before extracting the embryos using sterile tools. DNA analysis revealed a diverse community of bacteria within the intestines of the developing embryos. Pedroso and her colleagues hypothesize that the bacteria penetrate the surface of the shell to the egg white, which is then ingested by the developing embryo.

Study co-author John Maurer, professor of population health, said the finding could lead to better methods for promoting growth in poultry and for reducing the risk of food-borne illness. He explained that as the poultry industry has moved away from the use of growth-promoting antibiotics in recent years, it increasingly relies on administering probiotics—beneficial intestinal bacteria—to newly hatched chicks. Establishing a community of healthy bacteria in the birds is thought to make it more difficult for pathogenic bacteria to establish themselves, but studies on the effectiveness of probiotics have shown mixed results. Maurer said it appears now that the timing of probiotic administration is important.

“Currently, most probiotics are administered after the chicks have hatched,” Maurer said. “But our study suggests we might need to administer probiotics in ovo (in the egg) to get better results.”

The idea that embryos are sterile in the egg and that chicks acquire their intestinal bacteria after hatching goes back to the 1960s, when early experiments using bacterial cultures—often Petri dishes with a growth medium—failed to grow any bacteria. Newer DNA techniques such as those Pedroso and her colleagues used are much more sensitive, however, and aren’t influenced by how well a bacterium grows in a dish.

“Previous assumptions were based on the use of cell cultures,” Pedroso said, “but we now know that only 1 percent of bacteria in the biosphere can be cultured.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Healthy Intestinal Bacteria Found Within Chicken Eggs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602103402.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2008, June 3). Healthy Intestinal Bacteria Found Within Chicken Eggs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602103402.htm
University of Georgia. "Healthy Intestinal Bacteria Found Within Chicken Eggs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602103402.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins