Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Animal Science


Animal Science


Jaymie Noland


As keeping backyard poultry rises, human contact with zoonotic pathogens will increase. One such pathogen that backyard enthusiasts have exposure risks to is Salmonella spp. which may cause a potential public health threat due to its increasing multidrug resistancy. Salmonella spp. were present in 33 of 50 samples collected from 29 sites with backyard poultry coops in San Luis Obispo County during March to May in 2014. Two different Hardy-CHROME™ Salmonella Selective Media plates were used to culture and isolate positive samples of Salmonella spp.. Each positive isolate was tested for antimicrobial sensitivity to 6 standard antibiotics: Ampicillin, Bacitracin, Erythromycin, Gentamicin, Penicillin, and Tetracycline, at the standard disk concentration levels. The Kirby-Bauer antimicrobial sensitivity test determined that 12 different profiles emerged from the Salmonella spp. isolates. All antimicrobial sensitivity profiles showed multidrug resistance in vitro with only high susceptibility to 2 major antibiotics, Gentamicin at 97% and Ampicillin at 51%. All profiles were resistant to 1 or more of the antimicrobials tested, plus the control. One Salmonella isolated was resistant to all 6 antimicrobials and another isolate to 5. The Salmonella spp. isolates proved multidrug resistance between 73%-100% to the other 4 antibiotics tested.

The 24 Salmonella spp. positive sites displayed a lack of proper biosecurity and poultry husbandry practices. The criteria developed for accessing the poultry’s environment ranged from dedicated shoes for cleaning, egg handling, access to other animals and wildlife, number of birds and breeds or species in a coop, cleaning routine, over-all biosecurity and human interactions. Human exposure to Salmonella spp. pathogenic strains could increase due to environmental cross contamination and deficiencies in sanitation. The presence of Salmonella spp. with a diversity of antibiotic resistance serotypes is an important source of zoonotic pathogens for animal and human diseases that has public health risk implications.

Available for download on Monday, December 13, 2021