High impact research paper published in Journal of Microbiome

Area of Expertise:

A high impact (IF 12.16) research paper was published by Aaron McKenna, PhD student, in the Journal Microbiome, under the supervision of Professor Nicolae Corcionivoschi (AFBI, Bacteriology). This PhD studentship was funded by industry (Moy Park).


The overarching hypothesis asks the question as to which industrial system parameters are important for performance and pathogen reduction.

Three separate production systems were tested; Normal (N), Higher Welfare (HW) and Higher Welfare with Omega-3 (O) with the microbiome profiled and investigated at day 7 and day 30.

Dominant genera from each production systems were identified and along with energy and protein percentage ration, were linked with amino acid, nucleic acid and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) utilisation. Omega-3 was associated with increased weight production.

Campylobacter presence was linked with increased microbial diversity and influence of environmental drivers. Key industrial production systems were identified, e.g. stocking density, which when increased (more chicken within a confined space), displayed a reduced ability to influence the chicken microbiome using extrinsic parameters.

Overall, parameters between production systems (whether constant or variable) have an impact on microbial diversity which subsequently influences feed breakdown and hence instigate competitive exclusion of certain genera.

A. McKenna, U.Z. Ijaz, C. Kelly, M. Linton, W.T. Sloan, B.D. Green, U. Lavery, N. Dorrell, B.W. Wren, A. Richmond, N. Corcionivoschi, and O. Gundogdu, Impact of industrial production system parameters on chicken microbiomes: mechanisms to improve performance and reduce Campylobacter. Microbiome 8 (2020) 128. Corresponding author.