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Decontamination of aerosolised bacteria from a pig farm environment using a pH neutral electrochemically activated solution (Ecas4 anolyte)

Tenzin, S., Ogunniyi, A.D., Khazandi, M., Ferro, S., Bartsch, J., Crabb, S., Abraham, S., Deo, P. and Trott, D.J. (2019) Decontamination of aerosolised bacteria from a pig farm environment using a pH neutral electrochemically activated solution (Ecas4 anolyte). PLoS ONE, 14 (9).

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An electrochemically activated solution (ECAS), generated by electrolysis of a dilute sodium chloride solution in a four-chamber electrolytic cell (Ecas4), was tested as a sanitising aerosol in eliminating bacteria from the environment of a weaning room vacated 24-48h earlier, at a continuous flow pig farm. An ultrasonic humidifier was used to fill the environment with a fog (droplets with diameters of 1–5 μm) containing 0.25 ppm of hypochlorous acid. The weaning room was fogged for 3 min at 30 min intervals during five hours of aerosol disinfection. An innovative sample treatment with propidium monoazide dye in conjunction with cyclonic air sampling was optimised and adapted for discerning live/dead bacteria in subsequent molecular quantification steps. Without fogging, total bacterial load ranged from 5.06 ± 0.04 to 5.75 ± 0.04 Log10 CFU/m3. After the first hour of fogging, a 78% total bacterial reduction was observed, which further increased to > 97% after the second hour, > 99.4% after the third and 99.8% after the fourth hour, finally resulting in a 99.99% reduction from the farm environment over five hours. Unlike the current formaldehyde spray disinfection protocol, which requires a long empty period because of its hazardous properties, this economically viable and environmentally friendly disinfection protocol may significantly lower downtime. Moreover, ECAS fogging can be easily adapted to a variety of applications, including the elimination of pathogens from livestock farm air environment for disease prevention, as well as decontamination after disease outbreaks.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2019 Tenzin et al.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
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