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Fate of Human Enteric Viruses during Dairy Manure–Based Composting

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Murine norovirus 1 (MNV-1), Aichi virus (AiV), and human adenovirus 41 (Ad41) were seeded in dairy manure and composted for 60 days, and both the stability of virus genomes and infectious viruses were evaluated. For compost started in late fall, pile temperature reached approximately 54.5°C on day 1 and remained between 55 and 60°C for 3 days. For viral genomes, AiV had an approximate 1.4-log loss of viral genome after 1 day and more than a 3.1-log loss after 2 days; while for MNV-1, there was a roughly 0.6-log reduction on day 1 and a more than 4-log reduction after 5 days. For compost started in late spring, the center temperature reached about 70°C on day 1 and remained warmer than 65°C for 3 days. The MNV-1 viral genome level was below the detection limit (ca. 3.4 log reverse transcriptase and quantitative PCR unit per g) after 1 day. Compared with RNA viruses, the Ad41 DNA genome was more stable in compost started in late spring; there was no reduction in DNA after 1 day, and ca. a 2.1-log loss at 5 and 7 days. For viral infectivity, the AiV infectious concentration was below the detection limit (about 2.8 log tissue culture infectious dose assay per g) after day 1 for both trials 1 and 2, and for Ad41, there was a greater than 4-log reduction of infectivity after 1 day for trial 2. Overall, temperature is a critical factor, which affects the survival of viruses in compost, and the fate of the viral genome in the generated heat is virus dependent as well. For U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Class A compost, current compost regulations require maintaining temperatures between 55 and 70°C for at least for 3 days for a static aerated-pile system. This study indicated that these temperature conditions could effectively inactivate MNV-1, AiV, and Ad41.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal and Food Sciences University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA 2: Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA 3: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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