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Improving the Sustainability of Farming Practices through the Use of a Symbiotic Approach for Anaerobic Digestion and Digestate Processing

Bacterial Pathogen Occurrence and Persistence in Livestock Mortality Biopiles

College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), Stevens Point, WI 54481, USA
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada
Department Biological Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Department of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Bible Hill, NS B2N 5E3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2017, 6(4), 49;
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Indicators for Environment Management)
Properly managed biopiles can be used for slaughterhouse-residual degradation and bacterial pathogen inactivation, which otherwise represent a major health risk in the environment. Biopiles were used to dispose of slaughterhouse-residuals and determine the occurrence and persistence patterns of indicators of pathogenic bacteria. The indicator bacteria included the family Enterobacteriaceae, total coliforms, Escherichia coli, nalidixic acid-resistant E. coli, and Streptococcus fecalis. The slaughterhouse-residual biopiles remained static for 164 d in 2006 and 141 d in 2007. In biopile effluent samples, exponentially decreasing populations of the indicator bacteria were observed. Indicator bacteria presence in biopile and soil samples suggested their retention and persistence in, but not migration from, the media. Though the family Enterobacteriaceae, total coliforms, and Escherichia coli shared behavioral correlations, they exhibited different fates in all media compared to S. fecalis, which was observed to persist and re-grow. The behavior of inoculated nalidixic acid-resistant E. coli suggested that inactivation was the primary process in the biopiles. However, the biopiles constituted continual sources of the indicator bacteria due to their persistence in isolated and protected locations, and changes in dominant species. While biopiling slaughterhouse-residuals was effective to inactivate >99% (log reductions) of indicator bacteria, tertiary methods and biopiling phases should be employed to ensure inactivation of pathogenic bacteria in animal waste biopiles. The fate of bacterial indicators in this system exhibited trends not-as-yet observed for animal waste biopiling activities, which generates numerous questions for further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: occurrence; persistence; bacteria; livestock; slaughterhouse; coli; strepto occurrence; persistence; bacteria; livestock; slaughterhouse; coli; strepto
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MDPI and ACS Style

Michitsch, R.; Gordon, R.; Jamieson, R.; Stratton, G. Bacterial Pathogen Occurrence and Persistence in Livestock Mortality Biopiles. Resources 2017, 6, 49.

AMA Style

Michitsch R, Gordon R, Jamieson R, Stratton G. Bacterial Pathogen Occurrence and Persistence in Livestock Mortality Biopiles. Resources. 2017; 6(4):49.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Michitsch, Robert, Robert Gordon, Rob Jamieson, and Glenn Stratton. 2017. "Bacterial Pathogen Occurrence and Persistence in Livestock Mortality Biopiles" Resources 6, no. 4: 49.

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