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Prevention of Zoonotic Pathogen Transmission from Animal Manure to Human Food

Wheeler, Tommy Lee; Wells, James; Harhay, Dayna; Berry, Elaine
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
End date
  1. Identify exploitable biological and environmental factors that affect pathogen occurrence, survival, or transmission in cattle and swine production environments.
  2. Develop and evaluate environmentally safe intervention strategies that reduce or eliminate the occurrence, persistence, or transmission of pathogens in cattle, swine, and their manure.
  3. Determine the baseline prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in beef cattle and beef processing plants.
More information
Approach: The overall goal of this project is to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, by providing scientific information that can be used to reduce or eliminate the transmission of zoonotic pathogens from animal manure to human food and water. Livestock manure is an important primary source of pathogenic bacterial contamination of the live animal, food products of both animal and plant origin, and water, thus presents a significant human health risk. Approaches include both the reduction of colonization and shedding by livestock, as well as the reduction of pathogens shed and present in the manure. Additional considerations are the preservation of the fertilizer value of manure and the development of procedures that address not only pathogen reduction, but the additional manure problem issues of odor and nutrient management. Exploitable factors, including biological, environmental, and managerial factors, which affect the occurrence, persistence, or transmission of pathogens in cattle and swine manure will be identified, then manipulated and evaluated to determine the impact on pathogens. Strategies and interventions to reduce or prevent the dissemination of pathogens in cattle and swine manure will be developed and evaluated. Approaches will include the use of dietary amendments, feed or manure additives, and waste management systems, as well as other intervention strategies suggested by information gathered in experiments.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project number
Accession number
Bacterial Pathogens
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Natural Toxins
Meat, Poultry, Game