The scientists focused on one compound of the hob plant in particular, lupulone, and assessed its ability to control levels of C. perfringens in chickens.
The ARS group said the study, which was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, was triggered by the need to find alternatives to antibiotic use in poultry feed as several types of bacteria are building resistance to antibiotics.
The research will be of interest to meat processors as bacteria such as C. perfringens in the intestines of chickens can cause contamination of meat during processing and can also result in significant production losses by causing disease in the broiler chicken, explained the researchers.
Food poisoning linked to C. perfringens is the third most commonly reported foodborne illness in the US. Infection with the bacteria normally causes diarrhoea and severe abdominal pain. While it may occasionally cause nausea, it rarely causes vomiting or fever. Although the bacteria are killed at cooking temperatures, the heat-resistant spores they produce are able to survive and may actually be stimulated by the heat to germinate.
The research team delivered different concentrations of lupulone via water to chickens inoculated with C. perfringens and they found that after 22 days the pathogen counts were significantly reduced in the lupulone-treated group compared to another group of chickens that did not receive the treatment. The reductions ranged from 30 to 50 per cent, according to the authors.
Fuente: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy