Viability of Ascaris suum eggs in stored raw and separated liquid slurry

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Separation of pig slurry into solid and liquid fractions is gaining importance as a way to manage increasing volumes of slurry. In contrast to solid manure and slurry, little is known about pathogen survival in separated liquid slurry. The viability of Ascaris suum eggs, a conservative indicator of fecal pollution, and its association with ammonia was investigated in separated liquid slurry in comparison with raw slurry. For this purpose nylon bags with 6000 eggs each were placed in 1 litre bottles containing one of the two fractions for 308 days at 5 °C or 25 °C. Initial analysis of helminth eggs in the separated liquid slurry revealed 47 Ascaris eggs per gramme. At 25 °C, egg viability declined to zero with a similar trend in both raw slurry and the separated liquid slurry by day 308, a time when at 5 °C 88% and 42% of the eggs were still viable in separated liquid slurry and raw slurry, respectively. The poorer survival at 25 °C was correlated with high ammonia contents in the range of 7·9–22·4 mM in raw slurry and 7·3–23·2 mM in liquid slurry compared to 3·2–9·5 mM in raw slurry and 2·6–9·5 mM in liquid slurry stored at 5 °C. The study demonstrates that at 5 °C, A. suum eggs have a higher viability in separated liquid slurry as compared to raw slurry. The hygiene aspect of this needs to be further investigated when separated liquid slurry is used to fertilize pastures or crops.

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