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Reducing the Pathogen Incidence and Contamination Potential of Spent Poultry Litters

Stern, Norman; Hiett, Kelli; Craven, Stephen; Line, John
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
End date
  1. To define the role of litter in transmission of pathogens including Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and Clostridium perfringens in commercial poultry operations and employ this knowledge to develop methods that reduce or eliminate transmission of these pathogens to land and/or crops for human food
  2. Make a pathogen-in-litter database & identify major determinants of pathogen survival in poultry,
  3. Develop/test antimicrobial interventions for poultry litter.
More information
Compile a baseline database of pathogen incidence in litters collected from within a number of poultry houses with a variety of litter; perform genotyping and strain comparisons on litter isolates from within the same and nearby poultry houses; test antimicrobial litter treatment parameters in laboratory models to assess the relative effectiveness of a treatment in inhibiting pathogens in poultry litter; determine the potential for pathogen leaching from exposed litter into the watershed environment as well as the effects of UV radiation on pathogens in top-spread litters with an environmetnally controlled rainfall simulation chamber; Develop and test chemical treatments for pathogen reduction in model litter systems. Based upon treatment parameters determined from earlier experiments, we will create and test prospective litter treatments to reduce pathogen colonization of poultry; and Develop and test composting methods with and without microbial enhancement by experimentally inoculating contaminated litter with a microbial inoculant.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project number
Accession number
Bacterial Pathogens