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AIMS: To compare the efficiency of various sampling methods for detection of Salmonella in turkey flocks. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a field study that compared various sampling methods one pair of boot swabs taken from the whole turkey house provided suitably sensitive results for fattening and rearing flocks and was no less sensitive than two pairs, each from half the house, tested as a pooled sample. The sensitivity was further enhanced by adding a dust sample. The dust sample appeared to be particularly useful in flocks with a low prevalence, especially in breeding flocks, and was more sensitive than a method which used five pairs of boot swabs per flock. Combined incubation of a boot swab and a dust sample showed no interference between the two sample types and a maximum sensitivity of detection. Litter samples and commercial sponge drag swabs provided a lower level of detection. CONCLUSIONS: A single pair of boot swabs taken from the whole house is recommended for routine sampling of commercial rearing or fattening flocks. An additional dust sample could be added to increase detection in flocks with a low prevalence or in breeding flocks, but adding an additional pair of boot swabs would not increase detection compared with a single pair. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study demonstrates that significant efficiencies can be made in sampling programmes for detection of Salmonella in turkey flocks without detracting from the sensitivity. Similar studies are recommended for other poultry sectors, particularly in chicken breeding flocks.

Original publication




Journal article


J Appl Microbiol

Publication Date





635 - 645


Animals, Dust, Environmental Monitoring, Housing, Animal, Poultry Diseases, Salmonella, Salmonella Infections, Animal, Sensitivity and Specificity, Turkeys