Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Poultry Science (PhD)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Steven C. Ricke

Committee Member

Michael Slavik

Second Committee Member

Frank Jones


Biological sciences, Breeders, Feed, Mycoplasma, Poultry, Salmonella


In 1935, the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) was created to control Salmonella gallinarum and Salmonella pullorum . These two pathogens were devastating economically for poultry producers. Through cooperative efforts using vaccination and strict biosecurity, these two pathogens were eradicated from the United States. Currently, the NPIP program is targeting two other poultry pathogens, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis and Mycoplasma . In the broiler industry it targets 2 specific Mycoplasma species (synoviae, gallisepticum). Vaccinations for these bacteria are available, but are not fully effective at controlling all strains and serovars. Thus, constant monitoring systems and strict biosecurity measures are necessary in order to limit contamination of poultry flocks. For primary breeders, it is not permissible to sell breeding stock that is infected with Salmonella Enteritidis, Mycoplasma galisepticum or Mycoplasma synoviae . The work reported here is intended to benefit both producers and consumers. Considering the economic impact that these pathogens can have on producers, optimal and rapid detection methods are extremely useful. Furthermore, elimination of Salmonella at the farm level can be facilitated also using rapid diagnostic assays. The assays described in this work can potentially reduce the economic and health burden of Salmonella by aiding producers to reduce the risk of Salmonella infection in poultry flocks.