Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Mcghee, Jennifer
item Thurston Enriquez, Jeanette

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2004
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Frohner, J., Thurston-Enriquez, J. 2004. Levels of health-related microorganisms in bioaerosols generated by cattle wastewater spray irrigation. In: Proceedings of the American Society for Microbiologists. 104th American Society for Microbiologists General Meeting, May 23-27, 2004, New Orleans, LA. 2004 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Bioaerosols generated from livestock waste spray irrigation practices have not been studied previously, but may create a human health risk due to ingestion or transmission of manure-borne pathogens to water sources, food crops or fomites. The objective of this study was to determine the levels of Escherichia coli, heterotrophic bacteria, Clostridium perfringens and somatic coliphage in bioaerosols produced by dairy or beef cattle wastewater spray irrigation. BioSamplers collected 12.5 liters of air per minute in 0.01% peptone. Samples were taken 1.5 m above the ground, 300 m upwind and 15-90 m downwind from the site of wastewater spray irrigation. Cattle wastewater was also sampled for enumeration of the study microorganisms. Total coliforms and E. coli were enumerated using Colilert® (IDEXX, Westbrook, ME). C. perfringens, somatic coliphage and heterotrophic bacteria were enumerated using membrane filtration and mCP agar, double layer overlay method, and SimPlate® (IDEXX, Westbrook, ME), respectively. Upwind ranges of E. coli, total coliforms, heterotrophic bacteria, somatic coliphage, and C. perfringens were <4.0-<32 most probable number (MPN)/m3 air, <4.0-854 MPN/m3 air, 13.0-1.97 E+04 MPN/m3 air, <29.0-<326 plaque forming units (PFU)/m3 air, and <33.0 CFU/m3 air, respectively. Downwind ranges of E. coli, total coliforms, heterotrophic bacteria, somatic coliphage, and C. perfringens were <4.0-588 MPN/m3 air, <7.0 -1.1 E+04 MPN/m3 air, 12.0 to 1.16 E+04 MPN/m3 air, <38.0-120 PFU/m3 air, and <37.0-18.0 colony forming units/m3 air, respectively. While concentrations of manure-borne microorganisms in livestock waste-generated bioaerosols are higher than those reported for municipal biosolids and wastewater land application, risk assessments are necessary to determine the human health impact of livestock waste spray irrigation. The concentrations and distances traveled by manure-borne microorganisms investigated by this work will enable the creation of these assessments.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page