Dr. Ivan Rychlik is a leader of Salmonella research group at the Veterinary Research Institute in Brno, Czech Republic and associate professor at the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic.

His group consists of 15 members and main research interests include characterisation of chicken and pig gut microbiota with special emphasis on the identification of chicken gut microbiota members restricting Salmonella and Campylobacter colonisation and pig microbiota members increasing piglet resistance to Clostridium perfringens.

Veterinary Research Institute

Czech Republic 🇨🇿  


Chicken and Environmental Microbiota

Chickens in commercial production are hatched in hatcheries without any contact with their parents. Their colonisation is therefore dependent on environmental sources only.

However, since chickens evolved to be hatched in nests, contact between hens and chicks is crucial for the development of chicken gut microbiota. While the establishment of gut microbiota characteristic of adult chickens may take months in chickens from hatcheries, the establishment of adult-type caecal microbiota in chicks in contact with adult hens requires less than 1 week of life.

Moreover, chicks with adult type of microbiota are resistant to the colonisation by Salmonella or Clostridium perfringens.

Understanding the differences in gut microbiota of chicks from hatcheries and those in contact with adult hen may allow for the definition of novel types of probiotics.