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The effect of anaerobic digestion and storage on indicator microorganisms in swine and dairy manure

Costa, Annamaria, Gusmara, Claudia, Gardoni, Davide, Zaninelli, Mauro, Tambone, Fulvia, Sala, Vittorio, Guarino, Marcella
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.31 pp. 24135-24146
Clostridia, Escherichia coli O157, Lactobacillus, Salmonella, Streptococcus, anaerobic digestion, biogas, coliform bacteria, dairy farming, dairy manure, excreta, farms, indicator species, microbial load, pig manure, rearing, slurries, swine
The aim of this experimental study was to evaluate the influence of anaerobic digestion and storage on indicator microorganisms in swine and dairy excreta. Samples were collected every 90 days for 15 months at eight farms, four pig, and four dairy farms, four of them having a biogas plant. Moreover, to evaluate storage effects on samples, 20 l of manure and slurry taken at each farm (digested manure only in farms with a biogas plant) were stored in a controlled climatic chamber at 18 °C, for 6 months. The bacterial load and the chemical-physical characteristics of excreta were evaluated at each sampling time, stored slurry, and manure were sampled and analyzed every 2 months. A high variability of the concentration of bacteria in the different excreta types was observed during the experiment, mainly depending on the type and time of treatment. No sample revealed either the presence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 or of Salmonella, usually linked to the temporary rearing of infected animals in facilities. Anaerobic digestion and storage affected in a significant way the reduction of indicator bacteria like lactobacilli, coliforms, and streptococci. Anaerobic digestion lowered coliforms in pig slurry (− 2.80 log, P < 0.05), streptococci in dairy manure (− 2.44 log, P < 0.001) and in pig slurry (− 1.43 log, P < 0.05), and lactobacilli in pig slurry (− 3.03 log, P < 0.05). Storage lowered coliforms and the other indicators counts, in particular in fresh wastes, while clostridia did not show a reduction in concentration.