Newly hatched specific pathogen-free chicks were dosed with a suspension of
Bacillus subtilis spores prior to challenge with Escherichia coli O78:K80,
a known virulent strain associated with avian colibacillosis. 24 h later.
A single oral inoculum of 2.5 x 10(8) spores was sufficient to suppress all
aspects of E. coli O78:K80 infection. Colonisation of deep organs was redu
ced by a factor of over 2 log(10) whilst colonisation of the intestine, as
measured by direct caecal count, was reduced over 3 log(10). Shedding of E.
coli O78:K80 was measured by semi-quantitative cloacal swabbing and was re
duced significantly for the: duration of the experiment, 35 days. B, subtil
is persisted in the intestine although with decreasing numbers over the sam
e period. Challenge with the same dose 5 days after pre-dosing with spores
overcame any suppressive effect of the spores. Crown Copyright (C) 2001 Pub
lished by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.