Two hundred and forty, four-week-old laying birds naturally infected with Salmonella enteritidis PT33 (Pasteur Institute phage typing system) were randomly divided twice (before and during the treatments) to obtain four separately housed groups of 60 birds and to study the efficacy of three decontamination treatments: enrofloxacin either with or without the movement of birds to a clean area, and enrofloxacin combined with movement of birds and a competitive exclusion treatment. The control group remained untreated. In each group contamination with S enteritidis was checked bacteriologically, every week from two months before until two months after the treatments began. All the samples taken from all the birds before the treatments began were S enteritidis-positive. After the treatments it was not possible to isolate salmonella either from the environment or from the faeces of the three treated groups. All the birds were humanely sacrificed at 22 weeks of age and samples of liver, spleen, ovaries and caeca were analysed for the presence of salmonella. The results demonstrated that although antibiotic therapy, the movement of birds into a clean house and competitive exclusion, either combined or not, had some efficacy in reducing infection levels, it was not possible to decontaminate all the birds completely.
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