• Campylobacter jejuni;
  • formic acid;
  • infection model;
  • potassium sorbate;
  • poultry


Aim:  We have tested the effect of various combinations of formic acid and sorbate on Campylobacter jejuni colonization in broiler chickens to reduce the colonization of this zoonotic pathogen in broiler chicken flocks.

Methods and Results:  Chickens were offered feed supplemented with different concentrations and combinations of formic acid and/or potassium sorbate. We found little or no effect on the Camp. jejuni colonization levels in chickens that were given feed supplemented with formic acid alone. A combination of 1·5% formic acid and 0·1% sorbate reduced the colonization of Camp. jejuni significantly, while a concentration of 2·0% formic acid in combination with 0·1% sorbate prevented Camp. jejuni colonization in chickens. This inhibition was replicated in two independent trials with a combination of three different Camp. jejuni strains.

Conclusions:  Our results show a novel and promising intervention strategy to reduce the incidence of Camp. jejuni in poultry products and to obtain safer food.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  To ensure food safety, a reduction of the carcass contamination with Camp. jejuni through reduced colonization of this pathogen in broiler chicken flocks is important. A range of organic acids as additives in feed and drinking water have already been evaluated for this purpose. However, no studies have yet shown a complete inhibition of Camp. jejuni colonization in broiler chickens.