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Inside a chicken #2: food safety and antibiotic resistance HD

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Published on Jun 3, 2013

See part #1 and the full video feature here: http://bit.ly/17eCG5k

What lives inside a chicken? It might sound like a strange question to ask, but as the world's most abundant food animal and an incubator of many bacteria - both helpful and harmful - the chicken's gut is a microbial world worth exploring using the latest DNA sequencing technology.

"We know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about what lives inside a chicken," says Professor Mark Pallen at the University of Warwick. "What we do know is that the chicken gut is home to a very rich microbial community. When high-throughput DNA sequencing arrived it became clear that the time was right to attempt a deep survey of this microbiome."

In part #2, Professor Pallen describes how charting the chicken microbiota is important for food security and food safety because we eat the chicken, as well as its eggs, and the animal can be home to pathogenic Salmonella and Campylobacter. Moreover, the chicken gut might be a source of antibiotic resistance, or even new enzymes for industrial biotechnology.

Chicken thumbnail from Kymberley Janisch on Flickr.

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