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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Reducing Airborne Pathogens, Dust and Salmonella Transmission in Experimental Hatching Cabinets Using An Electrostatic Space Charge System

Authors
item Mitchell, Bailey
item Buhr, Richard
item Berrang, Mark
item Bailey, Joseph
item Cox, Nelson

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 27, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Electrostatic charging of air in enclosed spaces has been shown to significantly reduce airborne dust and bacteria by causing them to be attracted to and collected on nearby grounded surfaces such as walls and floors. When chicks are hatched, air within the hatcher is filled with dust from feathers and egg shell particles, and this dust is known to be one of the primary means by which disease-causing organisms such as Salmonella ca be spread throughout a hatcher by just a few infected chicks. A hatching cabinet with a custom designed electrostatic charging system was compared to a non-treated hatching cabinet to determine the electrostatic charging system's effectiveness for reducing airborne dust and bacteria, and for reducing airborne transmission of Salmonella. Air samples were taken during the trials for dust and bacteria. Sample chicks were grown to 7 days of age and Salmonella levels within their gut were determined. The electrostatic charging system reduced bacteria counts by 85 to 93%. Dust concentration reduction by the ionizer averaged 93.6%. Salmonella in the guts of birds grown to 7 days of age was reduced by an average of over 1000 fold.

Technical Abstract: Electrostatic charging of particles in enclosed spaces has been shown to be an effective means of reducing airborne dust by increasing precipitation rate and attraction of the charged particles to grounded surfaces. Dust generated during the hatching process has been strongly implicated in Salmonella transmission. Four trials were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of an electrostatic space charge on the levels of total aerobic bacteria (TPC), Enterobacteriaceae (ENT), and Salmonella (SAL) within an experimental hatching cabinet. A negative air ion generator was placed above the top hatching basket within a hatching cabinet that was approximately 50% full of 18-day-old broiler eggs. The ionizer operated continuously to generate a strong negative electrostatic charge, and dust was collected in grounded trays containing water and a degreaser. An adjacent hatching cabinet served as a nontreated control. Air samples for bacteria were collected daily, and sample chicks from each hatcher were grown out to 7 days for cecal analysis. The electrostatic space charge system reduced bacteria counts for both TPC and ENT by 85 to 93%. Dust concentration reduction by the ionizer averaged 93.6%. Salmonella per gram of cecal contents in birds grown to 7 d of age was reduced by an average log(10) 3.4 cfu/g.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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