American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

A BIOPHYSIOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF SETTLED LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY HOUSING DUSTS

Carresse Gerald, Christi McPherson, Tha’Mes McDaniel, Zhigang Xu, Bryce Holmes, Leonard Williams, Niki Whitley and Jenora Turner Waterman

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2014.153.166

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 2

Pages 153-166

Abstract

The levels and composition of agricultural dusts are influenced by animal species, production strategy, housing type and ventilation efficiency. Agricultural dust within animal houses is complex and consists of feed particles, microbes and their products, dander, fecal matter, gases, metals and other organic and inorganic components. Livestock and poultry production facilities may be categorized as confinement, semi-confinement or pasture-based. Characterization of animal husbandry building dust will provide insight into understanding exposures experienced by animals, workers and farm visitors. The goal was to characterize biophysiochemical features of livestock dusts from swine, small ruminant, equine, poultry and cattle husbandry units. Settled dust samples were collected from livestock and poultry housing units at the University Farm and other livestock farms across the state. Morphological features were determined by electron microscopy and gravimetry. Biochemical evaluation consisted of pH determination and trace metal detection via mass spectrometry. Biological assessment centered on bacterial characterization via selective media, DNA analysis and endotoxin quantitation. Morphological analyses revealed higher levels of respirable and thoracic particles in poultry, swine, small ruminant and equine units compared to the dairy unit (p<0.01). Dusts were slightly acidic with the exception of the NCAT small ruminant unit (p<0.05). Dust endotoxin levels were consistent and bacterial species detected include Listeria and Escherichia coli. These findings suggest animal husbandry buildings harbor higher levels of smaller respirable and thoracic dust particles compared to inhalable particles. This information may be helpful in understanding dust exposures experienced by animals, farmers and agricultural workers.

Copyright

© 2014 Carresse Gerald, Christi McPherson, Tha’Mes McDaniel, Zhigang Xu, Bryce Holmes, Leonard Williams, Niki Whitley and Jenora Turner Waterman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.