Pathogen Survival in Swine Manure Environments and Transmission of Human Enteric Illness—A Reviewa



The influence of zoonotic pathogens in animal manure on human health and well-being as direct or indirect causes of human enteric illness is examined. Available international data are considered, but the study is focused on the developing situation in western Canada, where it is certain there will be further rapid growth in livestock numbers, particularly hogs. Major pathogens considered are Escherichia coli Ol57:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia. Canada is now the leading exporter of pork internationally, but recent increases in production contrasts with constant domestic levels of pork consumption and declining levels of foodborne illness caused by pork. Effects of increased levels of manure production are not quantifiable in terms of effects on human health. The presence of major pathogens in manure and movement to human food sources and water are considered on the basis of available data. Survival of the organisms in soil, manure, and water indicate significant variability in resistance to environmental challenge which are characteristic of the organisms themselves. Generally, pathogens survived longer in environmental samples at cool temperatures but differences were seen in liquid and solid manure. Based on actual data plus some data extrapolated from cattle manure environments, holding manure at 25°C for 3 months will render it free from the pathogens considered above.

This review evaluates the survival of zoonotic-based protozoan and bacterial pathogens in soil, water, and manure. We focus on several aspects related to the issue, including improper manure handling and foodborne illness, the effect of increased hog production, and environmental survival of the major zoonotic pathogens from swine and cattle.


Cattle Manure Cryptosporidium Oocyst Foodborne Illness Liquid Manure VBNC State 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManitobaWinnipeg

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