Survival of pathogenic bacteria during mesophilic anaerobic-digestion of animal waste

Mike Larkin, T.E. Kearney, J.P. Frost, P.N. Leveltt

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76 Citations (Scopus)


The survival of pathogenic bacteria was investigated during the operation of a full-scale anaerobic digester which was fed daily and operated at 28-degrees-C. The digester had a mean hydraulic retention time of 24 d. The viable numbers of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia enterocolitica, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter jejuni were reduced during mesophilic anaerobic digestion. Escherichia coli had the smallest mean viable numbers at each stage of the digestion process. Its mean T90 value was 76-9 d. Yersinia enterocolitica was the least resistant to the anaerobic digester environment; its mean T90 value was 18.2 d. Campylobacter jejuni was the most resistant bacterium; its mean T90 value was 438.6 d. Regression analysis showed that there were no direct relationships between the slurry input and performance of the digester and the decline of pathogen numbers during the 140 d experimental period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of applied bacteriology
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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