Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2003
Publication Date: 12/1/2003
Citation: RICHARDSON, L.J., MITCHELL, B.W., WILSON, J.L., HOFACRE, C.L. EFFECT OF AN ELECTROSTATIC SPACE CHARGE SYSTEM ON AIRBORNE DUST AND SUBSEQUENT POTENTIAL TRANSMISSION OF MICROORGANISMS TO BROILER BREEDER PULLETS BY AIRBORNE DUST. AVIAN DISEASES. 2003. Interpretive Summary: Airborne dust in enclosed animal housing is known to be closely related to transmission of many diseases of poultry including those, which cause food-borne illness in humans. Although some improvements in air quality can be achieved with proper management and ventilation, these procedures are limited. Poultry pullet houses, where birds are raised on litter floors prior to being placed in a breeder house, are known for very high dust levels caused by litter covered floors and litter scratching activity. Failure to minimize airborne disease causing organisms in these areas can lead to disease problems in the resulting breeder flocks that are used to produce fertile eggs for poultry production. Scientists at the University of Georgia and the ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory have shown that an electrostatic space charge system (ESCS) can be effective in reducing airborne dust and bacteria in a broiler-breeder pullet room. The ESCS was used to charge airborne dust particles causing them to be attracted to grounded surfaces, and it resulted in an average reduction of 64% for bacteria and 37% for dust concentration. Reductions in airborne dust and bacteria by the ESCS suggest the system has potential for reducing disease-causing organisms in extremely dusty environments as well as applicability to other enclosed animal areas.
Technical Abstract: High levels of dust and bacteria are associated with animal housing. Many of the microorganisms are carried by dust particles. Two environmentally controlled rooms with litter floors containing female broiler breeder pullets were used to evaluate the effectiveness of an electrostatic space charge system (ESCS) in reducing airborne dust and gram-negative bacteria levels. The ESCS was used to charge airborne dust particles causing them to be attracted to grounded surfaces. The ESCS treatment resulted in an average reduction of 64% for bacteria and 37% for dust concentration. Lower ventilation rates corresponding to lower outdoor temperatures caused higher indoor dust levels and dust reduction efficiencies closer to 50%. The lower reductions of airborne dust and bacteria in this study compared to earlier results obtained with the ESCS in commercial hatching cabinets and experimental caged layer rooms may be a result of the much higher dust levels in the present study caused by a litter-covered floor, dry litter conditions, and frequent litter scratching activity by the pullets. These results suggest that the system has potential for reducing potential food-borne pathogens in extremely dusty environments as well as applicability to other enclosed animal areas.