Transient gut retention and persistence of Salmonella through metamorphosis in the lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Academic Article uri icon


  • AIMS: This study was undertaken to determine the retention of Salmonella through Alphitobius diaperinus metamorphosis and its contribution, through defecation, to external contamination. METHODS AND RESULTS: Insects were exposed to a tagged Salmonella enterica and evaluated for external elimination. (i) Each day for 3 weeks, a filter collected frass from a restrained insect for analysis. (ii) Exposed larvae in a closed container were followed through pupation, and newly emerged adults were examined for their retention of marker bacteria. CONCLUSIONS: Exposed adults and larvae produced Salmonella-positive frass for an average of 8 days, ranging from 6 to 11 days and 6 to 12 days, respectively. Nineteen per cent of the larvae carried Salmonella through metamorphosis and eclosion, with 5% of the pupal exuviae being positive as well. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Many sources of foodborne pathogens within the poultry production facilities, including reservoir populations, currently go unrecognized. This diminishes the ability of producers to mitigate the transfer of pathogens between animals, humans and the environment. Poultry management standards accept the reutilization of litter. Alphitobius diaperinus survive between flock rotations on the reutilized litter, and it was demonstrated in this study that the Salmonella they carry can survive with them.

published proceedings

  • J Appl Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Crippen, T. L., Zheng, L., Sheffield, C. L., Tomberlin, J. K., Beier, R. C., & Yu, Z.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Crippen, TL||Zheng, L||Sheffield, CL||Tomberlin, JK||Beier, RC||Yu, Z

publication date

  • January 2012