A study of the occurrence of avian salmonellosis in some farms and a slaughter house in Kenya
Salmonellosis is a zoonotic disease which causes severe gastroenteritis and septicemia in man and animals. In chickens, the disease causes high losses by death during the first three weeks after hatching, reduced fertility and hatchability, reduced egg-production and stunted growth in chick so Many workers have investigated avian salmonellosis. Their findings have indicated that there is a high occurrence of avian salmonellosis in many parts of the world. In Kenya, S. qalli,naru:n,§.o 2.UL1.QTumand S. llihimuriui}lhave been isolated from some chickens. However, available informatio~ shows that very limited work has been done on avian salmonellosis. Unpublished annual re?orts (1969 to 1977) fro:n the microbiology diagnostic laboratory of the Kenyatta National Hospital indicate that there is a significant occurrence of human salmonellosis in Kenya. Of the §almonella bacteria recovered from human patientst §.. ill.himuriull has been the main isolate. Poultry keeping has become a significant ag~oindustry and poultry products are an important source of protein. Since salmonellosis is a public health hazard, it was'necessary to assess the degree of salmonellosis in poultry. To achieve this objective, a number of faecal, intestinal-content and tissue specimen from unvaccinated birds from four farms and a slaughterhouse in the neighbourhood of Nairobi were investigated bacteriologicallYe A serological survey of the same birds was also done. It was found that while the bacteriological isolations indicated an apparent low occurrence of salmonellosis in chickens in Kenya~ serologically there was a high occurrence. Salmonella gall~..lIarllm was isolated from sick birds while salmonellae in groups Band C were isolated from apparently healthy birds. Poultry infected with such organisms could easily serve as a source of infection in man and probably account for some human salmonellosis as has been observed from the Kenyatta National Hospital. This study, by its design, has been limited to a few farms and one slaughterhouse. Consequently, one cannot claim that it gives a complete picture of the occurrence of salmonellosis in Kenya. However, these findings indicate that avian salmonellosis is present in Kenya and that it could cause a serious problem. Consequently, fu her and extensive work needs to be done to assess tt 2 degree of salmonellosis in poultry and especially ir view of their significance as a source of protein for an increasing number of people in this country.