The lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), and its role in Salmonella transmission to poultry
Roche, Aubree Julia
MetadataShow full item record
Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), or the lesser mealworm, is a common insect pest of commercial poultry operations. Salmonella is a common foodborne pathogen associated with poultry. Living in litter, lesser mealworms potentially come in contact with human and animal pathogens and are then consumed by foraging broilers. The reservoir competence of A. diaperinus for Salmonella was evaluated utilizing a nalidixic acid-resistant marker strain Salmonella Typhimurium. The persistence was assessed in adults, larvae, and pupae as well as the ability of Salmonella-inoculated beetles to colonize broiler chicks. The marker Salmonella persisted in adult beetles up to 64 d and 49 d in larvae, and high levels were maintained for up to 30 d post-inoculation. Day-of-hatch broiler chicks inoculated with pools of 4 adults or larvae were colonized with the marker Salmonella and able to disseminate the bacteria to other birds in the flock for up to 6 wk.