PhD defence of Hika Ayana (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)



Biosecurity And Salmonella-Related Food Safety Challenges In Poultry Value Chains In Central Ethiopia


PhD candidate: Ayana, Hika Waktole 

Hika Waktole Ayana was born on January 13, 1986, in Oromia, Ethiopia. He completed his diploma studies at Assosa Agricultural College and joined Addis Ababa University College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture for work in May 2006. Hika pursued his Bachelor of Science degree and graduated in July 2011. Thereafter, he enrolled in the Master of Science program in Veterinary Microbiology at the same institution and graduated in September 2013. Since then, he has worked in various capacities and responsibilities, initially as a Laboratory Technologist and later as full time faculty. various ranks. Hika served as Head of the Animal Research and Production Center, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, and Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture at Addis Ababa University at different times. In October 2020, he began his PhD study at the Department of Pathobiology, Pharmacology, and Zoological Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent UniversityHika’s doctoral research focuses on biosecurity and Salmonella-related food safety challenges in poultry value chains in central Ethiopia. Hika is the author and co-author of several publications in international and national peer-reviewed journals. He has actively participated in numerous scientific conferences and workshops on various topics. Additionally, he has lectured and supervised several bachelor’s and master’s students.


Supervisors: Prof. dr. Gunther Antonissen, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGent - Prof. dr. Hagos Ashenafi, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia - Prof. dr. Kebede Amenu, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Ethiopia


Short description

Ethiopia's poultry production sector, predominantly centered on chickens, is experiencing significant growth, especially in urban and peri-urban regions. However, this expansion is hampered by several constraints, notably diseases linked to inadequate biosecurity practices. This thesis investigates these challenges, with a particular focus on the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella, and examines the broader implications for public health, biosecurity practices, and policy interventions. The study reveals that biosecurity practices in Ethiopian poultry farms are considerably below global standards. An assessment of 226 poultry farms in central Ethiopia showed an overall biosecurity score of 43.1%, compared to the global average of 64.3%. This inadequate biosecurity is consistent across different scales of poultry farms, highlighting a systemic issue. The biosecurity practices were also highly compromised in the poultry farm supporting facilities which are otherwise known as off farm facilities that include feed processing plants, hatcheries and slaughter houses. The research disclosed a high prevalence of Salmonella in both poultry farms and retail environments. An overall prevalence of 50.6% at the farm level and 14.4% at the sample level was observed. Additionally, the occurrence of Salmonella in poultry products from farms and retailer shops was 11.3%, indicating a significant food safety hazard. Furthermore, this study underscored a critical public health threat posed by antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella. The findings showed multi-drug resistance in Salmonella isolates to 10 out of the 12 tested antibiotics. This resistance can complicate treatment options and highlights the need for stringent antimicrobial stewardship in the poultry sector.



Date: Wednesday 10 July 2024, 16:00

Location: Auditorium D, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke


The defense will also be live streamed. If you like to participate in the online Teams videoconference, please send an e-mail ( to receive a personal invitation. After the defense, there will be a short reception. If you would like to attend the reception, please register before July 6, 2024 by email to