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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Detection, Survival, Transport, and Reduction of Human Pathogens from Animal Manure
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Although the food and water supply of the United States is among the safest in the world, an increasing number of outbreaks of human disease are occurring as a result of pathogen contamination of:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Water resources
Liquid and solid animal wastes originating from concentrated animal feeding operations are believed to be a major source of pathogenic microorganisms.
Scientists and Engineers are developing their ability to
  • Detect pathogenic microorganisms
  • Quantify pathogenic microorganisms
  • Predict their fate and transport in the environment
Primary objectives of this research are to:
  • Develop methods for the detection and source identification of pathogenic microorganisms
  • Quantify mechanisms and processes affecting the transport and survival of pathogenic microorganisms
To this end, an interdisciplinary team of research scientists is conducting laboratory and numerical experiments to
  • Develop novel detection techniques
  • Explore the influence of microbe, water, manure, and soil characteristics on pathogen fate and transport
Insight gained from these studies should aid in the development of control strategies to prevent the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms to
  • Food-Producing Animals
  • Agricultural Crops
  • General Environment
Contact Scientists:
Mark Ibekwe, PhD
Scott Bradford, PhD

Last Modified: 4/16/2013
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