Environmental Sampling Methods for Detection of Salmonella Infections in Laying Hens: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

E. Pacholewicz*, H.J. Wisselink, M.G.J. Koene, M. van der Most, J.L. Gonzales Rojas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Salmonellosis is the second most commonly reported foodborne gastrointestinal infection in humans in the European Union (EU). Most outbreaks are caused by Salmonella Enteritidis, present in contaminated food products, particularly in egg and egg products. In recent years, an increase in the prevalence of Salmonella in laying hen flocks in the EU has been observed. For the effective control of infection, adequate detection is key. In laying hen flocks, the occurrence of Salmonella in the EU is monitored by the culture of environmental samples (dust, faeces, and boot swabs). The performance of sampling procedures described in the literature for the detection of Salmonella in laying hens was reviewed. In total, 924 abstracts were screened, resulting in the selection of 87 abstracts and 18 publications for qualitative and quantitative analyses, respectively. Sample sizes and sampling locations of faecal material and dust were variable and poorly described. Microbiological culture methods used to detect Salmonella were variably described in the literature and were often incomplete. Overall, the available literature indicates higher sensitivity of environmental versus individual hen matrices and points to differences in sensitivity between environmental matrices. For non-cage housing systems, boot swabs are the preferred samples, while for cage housing systems dust might be a more reliable sample.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2100
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2023


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